Have you ever seen your neighbor carry dumbbells or ankle weights across the block? Does this make you wonder if you should walk with weights too? If so, read on to learn about the potential benefits and risks before getting started.
If it's your first try, be sure to bring a smartwatch to monitor your heart rate so you can monitor changes in your body in real time.(There I sincerely recommend you BP doctor watch,which has functions of blood pressure monitoring,temperature measuring,heart rate monitoring and so on.)
"When you think about walking, there are only a few ways you can change your intensity," says Chris Galliardi, a spokesman for the American Sports Council and a medical exercise specialist. "You either go faster or climb the hill on a different slope. But adding an external load, whether it's weight on your hands, wrists, ankles, or a weighted vest -- can also help you increase your strength."
Some people think they'll step up their workouts by walking with weights, which leads to more heart beating and calorie burn. Others worry that walking with weights may deviate from their posture, gait, or center of gravity, leading to injury. Experts say both schools of thought are correct.
Interested in the idea of walking with weights? If you follow a few guidelines, it's possible to make this habit safely. What's this:
Keep it light.
The idea is to add a little weight to increase your heart rate and calorie burn without adding too much weight to change your posture or stride length. Researchers have shown that limiting the weight of handheld devices and ankles to 1 to 3 pounds may offer benefits without causing harm.
"You shouldn't be using such heavy weights that you walk differently and that changes your gait," Galliardi said. "If you already have knee osteoarthritis and other conditions and are gaining weight now...the heavier you are, the more force your joints are going through, so it may bring on any pain from the existing condition sooner ."
Don't exaggerate the action.
If you're wearing dumbbells, you may swing your arms more vigorously, or even bend. But the point of weightlifting isn't to turn walking into strength training, it's to increase the intensity of your cardio.
"People tend to pay more attention to their arm swing, so they move their arms more," Galliadi said. "If I walk a few miles, there's a lot of repetition. It's a lot of wear and tear, and even if I do, it increases calorie burn. On certain joints, it can end up being more difficult."
try the water bottle
No dumbbells? Some studies have found that people who hold about a pound in one hand walk faster. Bringing a full bottle of water with you can help you speed up and burn more calories.
"While this study was not about exercise intensity, I think adding weight to the arms may be another way to control exercise intensity, especially for those who can't or don't want to increase speed or distance," said the study's authors. , said Dr. Hyung Suk Yang, assistant professor of motor function and motor management at the University of South Dakota's Zhusha Campus. "Something like a water bottle or a watch is exactly what we're thinking."
wear a vest
Go beyond dumbbells and ankle weights: Some experts prefer weighted vests because they add weight to your body so you can carry it more naturally. "Ideally, weights should be placed where mechanical changes during exercise can be ignored," said Frank Wyatt, professor of exercise training and exercise physiology at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. In general, this means that the weight will be distributed over the torso area of the body, not the periphery — i.e. the ankles or hands."
Some studies show that wearing a weighted vest equal to 10 to 15 percent of your body weight can help you burn more calories without feeling like you're using more energy. "When they were asked to rate the effort they felt, there was no linear increase, so this could be a way for people to increase the intensity," Gagliardi said. "It means you work harder, but you don't necessarily like you."
skip the backpack
A heavy backpack will not provide the same benefits as a weighted vest, it can cause or worsen lower back pain. "Wearing a vest is very different because the weight is on the front, back and sides of you, not just on the back of you, and that's going to make a difference," Galliardi said.
Use heavy objects occasionally.
No more than a few weight-bearing walks per week. "There are no established guidelines for weight-bearing walking," Wyatt said. "Start with a low body weight two to three days a week, on your torso, and do 20 to 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio. This will be alternated with other activities, gradually increasing in frequency, duration, intensity, and weight over about four to six weeks. "