Weighted vests are commonly used by gym goers, to enhance the effectiveness of their workouts. But how effective are they when it comes to walking? In this blog post, we’re answering the question ‘are weighted vests good for walking?’. We’ll also discuss the benefits of walking with a weighted vest and answer frequently asked questions, to help provide a better understanding of the topic. Let’s begin.
Are Weighted Vests Good For Walking?
Yes, weighted vests can be excellent pieces of equipment that can add intensity and resistance when walking. You can find more benefits of weighted walking below.
Benefits Of Walking With A Weighted Vest
There are several benefits of walking with a weighted vest, which include:
Increased workout intensity
Wearing a weighted vest when walking is a great way to increase the intensity of your workout. Your body has to work harder than usual during your session, leading to increased progression in the same amount of time.
The added load can aid muscle activation in the back and shoulders, which can help improve posture. Good posture is crucial when walking, as it helps prevent added strain or pains in the neck and shoulder areas. If your weighted vest is causing poor posture, you may need to speak to a fitness professional who will advise you on actions to take.
Can burn more calories
When walking with a weighted vest, the body has to work harder than it usually would, therefore using more energy. This extra energy means more calories can be burned when walking, which can contribute to weight loss.
Increased muscle tone
Weighted vest walking engages different muscle groups, activating muscles and helping to improve muscle tone. Walking with a weighted vest can target muscles all over the body, including the upper body, legs and core, helping to strengthen and tone them.
Although weighted vests can benefit many people, unfortunately they are not suitable for everyone. Below, we are sharing who should refrain from walking with a weighted vest.
Who Should Not Walk With A Weighted Vest?
- Beginners - People who are new to exercising should take some time to become accustomed to walking before progressively adding a weighted vest. If a beginner starts weighted vest walking with inadequate preparation, there is a higher risk of potential injury.
- People with severe joint pain - Although a weighted vest can be useful for some people with osteoporosis, those who suffer severely from the condition should avoid wearing them as they may cause lasting damage.
- People with back or neck complaints - A weighted vest can put pressure on your spine and irritate any existing pains you may have, therefore it is best to stay away if you have existing back or neck problems.
Safety Tips To Follow
- Start small and gradually build up - You should start with a lighter weight and gradually build up to a heavier load after your body has had time to adjust.
- Maintain proper form - You should maintain correct form when walking with a weighted vest. This will prevent injuries and allow you to reap the benefits of walking with the added load.
- Don’t overdo it - Make sure you listen to your body and don’t overdo it. If you experience pain or feel burnt out while weighted vest walking, you should stop immediately and remove the vest.
- Check with your doctor if you are unsure - If you are unsure if weighted vest walking is suitable for you, we recommend contacting your doctor or healthcare provider, who will be able to answer your queries and give a suitable alternative if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you walk wearing a weighted vest every day?
We do not recommend walking with a weighted vest every day. Your body needs time to rest after carrying the extra load around, therefore you should only walk with a weighted vest a maximum of 2 - 3 times a week. This exact figure will depend from person to person, but the general rule is to listen to your body; if you feel you are pushing yourself too hard, reduce the number of days you walk with a weighted vest.
How heavy should a weighted vest be for walking?
The exact weight of a weighted vest will depend on your general fitness abilities. When you begin weighted vest walking, the vest should generally weigh a maximum of 5% of your body weight. Once your body gets used to the added load, you can gradually increase this weight to 10% and then a maximum of 15%.
Can you burn more calories walking with a weighted vest?
Yes, you can burn more calories when walking with a weighted vest. The added load makes exercise more intense, requiring the body to use more energy and work harder. This leads to an increase in the number of calories burned.