Research: Weighted Vest for Osteoporosis?
Weighted Vest osteoporosis or osteopenia: What Research Shows
After designing the original Hyper Vest weighted vest for athletes, it came as a surprise when a lot of our customers were not athletes. From talking to you, we learned that our thin and comfortable weight vest was a favorite for those with osteopenia and osteoporosis. Sometimes big gains in wellness can come from simple, unexpected places. Years ago researchers studied weighted vest osteoporosis and found that wearing a weight vest while walking would improve bone density for those diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Long-term exercise using weighted vests prevents hip bone loss in postmenopausal women was the most important study.
Other osteoporosis research at the time was able to show how heavy a weight vest should be used and how fast you should walk to have the best potential for good bone density improvements. The speed the that you walk is important in deciding how heavy your adjustable weight vest should be.
More recently a study proved that a routine of light repetition functional exercises with an adjustable weighted vest was effective in building bone mineral density after just six weeks. Effects of low-repetition and light-load power training on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with sarcopenia: Hamaguchi et al. BMC Geriatrics (2017) 17:102 DOI 10.1186/s12877-017-0490-8
Weighted Vest Osteoporosis & Walking
What weight did the scientists recommend for walking with a weighted vest? If you walk at a slow pace, build up to a heavier weight of 15% to 20% of your bodyweight. If you walk at a brisk pace, you can work with 10% to 15% of your bodyweight and even small adjustments will have a greater benefit. The bottom line recommendation was to gradually increase the weight in your weight vest to reach 15% of your bodyweight and also increase your speed over time. See: “The Effect of Weighted Vest Walking on Metabolic Responses and Ground Reaction Forces.”
We are always checking on the latest weight vest research and it is remarkable how many benefits come from functional fitness and simple fitness equipment. That is what comes to mind when reading coverage like the article in the Wall Street Journal: “Extra Load on Your Back to Help Build Bones” by Laura Johannes.
Many studies have shown that simply including an adjustable weight vest in your exercise for weighted vest osteoporosis will improve bone density. As the Wall Street Journal article points out, building bone mass is triggered more by higher impact activities like running or if you are walking you should power walk. Felecia Cosman, senior clinical director of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, is quoted as saying “bone responds to the magnitude of force put on it.”
Of course, you should ALWAYS consult your medical professional before starting any exercise and it is imperative when considering any impact activity with a weighted vest to gain bone mass. The stage or severity of your osteoporosis is a big factor. The amount of weight you should be using and where you progress with added weight should also be determined with the help of your doctor. Choosing the Hyper Vest is your best choice for an adjustable weight vest so that you can very gradually increase the amount of weight you are bearing during a workout. Generally, the studies show that 4% to 10% of body weight is the range of load to use for a weight vest. Of course, if you are overweight or obese, your physician may not recommend adding an additional load.
Still, more benefit comes from improving balance from wearing a snug weighted vest osteoporosis during fitness activity. Do not use a loose fitting vest. If the vest is not holding tight to your core it can shift and throw off your balance. A study published in Rheumatology International provided evidence that the study participants improved their balance by walking three times a week with a weight vest on a treadmill. While a treadmill is great for controlled studies, make sure you include other fitness activities with your weight vest to improve balance. When walking, simply including some backward walking can be fantastic for keeping your brain in touch with balance. Find a trail to walk on and go for a hike. It is much better for you than walking on a flat, predictable sidewalk. Many of the health challenges we face as we age have been brought on by our sedentary lifestyles and controlled environments. Get outdoors and into nature whenever and wherever you can with your weight vest to test your balance and proprioception.
Women are especially prone to lose bone density and large numbers have been drawn to our vest for weight-bearing exercise since the Hyper Vest has style, comfort, and is so thin you can wear it under a shirt. Our weighted vest osteoporosis is the perfect solution for a fitted yet adjustable weight vest comfortable for all. It utilizes a patented design so that you can move, walk and run comfortably while wearing the weighted vest.
Where to go for more information? Give us a call at Hyperwear or email customer service. We have a lot of experience with people who have questions about osteoporosis and weight vests.
Whatever you do, build a fitness habit. Get into a routine so you remember to include your weight vest in an activity that will help you build bone density. This is a slow and steady process. You have to stick with it to get small daily gains that will build into a significant improvement in your bone health. See your doctor regularly and get a scan to know your progress.
In the long run, it is about overall wellness. What you do for your osteoporosis will benefit your overall health. Better balance and a lower risk of falls is just one example. Do intervals of higher activity to get your heart rate up too. It’s all about a better life.
How thin and finely adjustable can a weight vest be?
Ready to try a Weighted Vest? Find your size in the thinnest and most adjustable weight vest
Looking for exercises for osteoporosis with a weight vest?
Always start with your medical professional before starting any exercise program especially for osteopenia or osteoporosis so that you get advice specific to your condition. Here is some general advice from physical therapist, Margaret Martin:
You can also check out her review of the Hyper Vest weight vest for osteoporosis to learn more: