Weighted Running Vest: Is It Effective and Safe Enough?

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  • September 4, 2016
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The military men and women are among the fittest people on the face of the earth. They rarely experience lifestyle diseases like people in other professions. This can be attributed to the fact that they do not just exercise but make every exercise routine more challenging than usual by adding extra weight. It is from their fitness levels that the concept of the weighted running vest has been borrowed.

By definition, a weighted running vest is a vest that is heavier than usual. It is worn over the torso like a person would any other vest. However, this provides a lot of resistance to activities due to the heavy weight. This makes a simple exercise more difficult to do and hence you gain more from working out with a weighted vest in place. However they are not too heavy to restrict the exercises you can engage in. You can do all sorts of exercises with such a vest on; from walking, cycling and jogging to pull ups, sit ups and pushups to rope climbing.

What are the Benefits of a Weighted Running Vest?

There are so many benefits you stand to gain from the use of this vest. Generally, the benefits you would gain from the usual exercising are amplified. Your cardiovascular health becomes better thanks to the fact that the cardiovascular intensity is increased with the use of this vest. Your stamina is also increased so you are able to burn more calories which is good for your heart.

If you want to build a muscular body, then a weighted vest is a good investment. It increases the demand on your muscle increasing your endurance. This way you will be able to do more exercise with time and your muscles will be stronger and your bones harder.

An increase in power and agility is enjoyed by athletes who use weighted running vests. It has actually been proven by research that an athlete who uses one is able to improve power by 10% in 3weeks. Running with a heavy weight on your body will make you strive to beat the resistance it offers making you faster and agile than you were before you started using it.

Are Weighted Running Vests Safe?

Though this is a good addition to your exercising gear, it has some risks associated with it. If you get one that weighs the right weight (not too heavy) you will be safe without any increase in the chances of getting injured. Choosing one that is too heavy however leaves you vulnerable. You are more likely to strain your muscles and may even slow your speed down. One that presses too hard on the skin could even lead to physical injuries. The best option is to choose a vest that weighs 10% of your body weight. This is relatively safe and will benefit you.

Poor posture is among the main downsides associated with a weighted running vest. This is also associated with a vest that is heavier than recommended. It will make you stop and strain to make the exercising unsafe. This increases your risk of getting joint injuries.

Things To Consider

You need to choose the weighted running vest to use wisely so that you can gain from it without risking getting injured. Many people have been injured while using these vests and you do not want to be among these. Surely you would rather be among those who have benefited from these vests. If so, then here are some things you should bear in mind when you start shopping fit a weighted running vest.

  • Weight: the vest should not weigh more than 10% your body weight. This way, it will not exert too much pressure on your body parts and will not injure you.
  • Comfort: choose a vest that is breathable, less bulky and one that you would feel comfortable in. It should fit your body snugly to ensure it does not bounce as you exercise. You should at least try it on before you take it home.
  • Fixed vs adjustable weights: there are vests that have fixed weight while others allow you to add or remove weights as you deem fit. While the latter is ideal for runners, the latter is a better option for those who do cardio and strength training. The adjustable one gives you the freedom to advance your resistance gradually.

No matter what your reasons for buying a weighted running vest are, it is a good idea and you stand to gain more from your exercises. You should however choose a vest that is appropriate to decrease injury risks. With a good quality weighted running vest, you can have a better heart health, increase your bulk easily and even be able to lose weight if that is your goal. It makes exercising much more productive. If you are an athlete this will help you be faster and agile.

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