How Walking with Weighted Vest Improves Your Health
What are the benefits of wearing a weighted vest while walking? Walking is the most popular exercise activity, and a fundamental way to improve your health. For the vast majority of people looking to improve their health through exercise, walking is the best starting point. There is no cost, it is easy to get started, and a good way to build a healthy habit. Walking alone is only a starting point. Strength training will add many more benefits, such as improving balance, burning more calories, and building bone density. Walking with a weighted vest is the easiest way to add strength training to a fitness routine.
By adding a weight vest to your walk you add a weighted load your muscles need to carry. Your muscles engage and have to work harder to walk the same distance at the same speed for the same time. Your body responds to this added weight in a very positive way. There are risks using a weighted vest for some people. Consult your health care professional for advice before beginning any exercise routine.
Let's take a look at some of the specific benefits.
Walking with a Weighted Vest Increases Workload
A natural result of wearing weighted clothing for exercise is your body works harder. The simple addition of weight to your body increases your gains for the same time spent walking or working out. With good walking habits and a plan, you will get better endurance, strength and heart health than you would without wearing a weight vest. Researchers also found that people just starting out did not really even notice that they were working harder. A treadmill walk with the addition of a good quality vest with weights did not seem any harder. That makes it easy to build a better fitness habit for health.
Build Bone Density Walking with a Weight Vest
Adding a weighted vest to your walk is a natural way to strength train. Wearing a weighted vest increases exercise intensity, and loads your spine and hips. This is proven to help slow or even halt bone density loss in many people. The amount of weight to use, when to add weight, how much to add and the duration and speed of walking are all variables that need additional studies using a weight vest for osteoporosis. Consult with your medical professional about your own needs and start with smaller weight. Be sure to use a vest with adjustable weights so you can progress slowly.
Higher Work Rate Means Better Calorie Burn
Weight loss goals are often a part of exercise motivation. There is a real benefit from adding a weight vest to your walk if you are looking to burn more calories - real but small. Studies show the additional calorie burn is best when wearing a vest that is up to 10% - 15% of your body weight. As always, diet and nutrition are the most important factors. Burn more calories working out with your weight vest, but avoid that single donut that reverses the benefit.
Walking with a Weight Vest Improves Balance
Walking exercise while wearing added weight from a vest provides significant gains in leg strength, lower body strength and improves stability. Lean leg mass is improved. All this combines for a lower risk of falls as shown in a study over a decade ago of women over 50.
What are the Risks of Using a Weight Vest?
The risks of using a weighted vest are only significant if you fail to review your health and exercise plan with a doctor. Take a conservative approach and build gradually. Do not buy a weight vest that is too heavy and does not adjust. Start with a lighter weight vest but beware of the costs of buying additional heavier vests instead of starting with an adjustable weight model.
Getting started -How to Choose a Walking Weight Vest
Number one, shop for a weight vest with adjustable weights. You want to be able to progressively load your body for strength training. Look for a vest with weights that are no heavier than 1/2 lb. You do not need to wear a lot of weight. Around 5 to 10 percent of your body weight is good for most people. Comfort and fit are a key factor. A vest with a zipper and comfortable fabric is ideal. Hyperwear Hyper Vest weighted vests are sold in sizes for the best fit and they have patented two-way stretch to hold weights to your body instead of just hanging from you shoulders. The Hyper Vest PRO was used in a study showing the benefits of using a weight vest on a treadmill. For the best women's weighted vest, look at the Hyper Vest FIT - it is also a great fitness gift for women.