Running is undoubtedly one of the best aerobic exercises. It is a good cardio exercise known to work the whole body.
Apart from burning calories, it also increases your heart-rate hence boosting the flow of blood to all parts of the body.
However, for people who have a high level of fitness, running does not seem to do much.
You end up having to increase your speed, distance, time or running uphill to achieve better results. Alternatively, you can choose to run with weights.
They make running more difficult than it would be when running without them. They force the body muscles to work harder and put more effort hence burning more calories within a short period of time.
There is a range of weights that can be used on different parts of the body. They include ankle weights, weighted vests, and arm weights such us dumbbells.
The most effective weights are ankle weights and weighted vests since you run freely with them without holding.
To achieve good results, one must know how to use these weights properly to increase effectiveness and avoid injury. I have compiled for you the key things to consider in both.
1. Ankle Weights
As the name suggests, ankle weights are fixed above the ankle. This is basically a cloth which is weighted and is tied around the leg to make muscles work harder when running.
The weights will obviously make your legs feel heavier hence requiring you to exert more effort when lifting them.
Studies have proved that ankle weights increase the heart rate by 3-5 beats/minute.
This results to burning more calories by 5-10% leading to more weight loss and hence giving you that toned body.
All this happens to compensate the amount of energy needed by the body to work efficiently.
However, it is advisable not to overwork your legs as you could strain leg tendons, muscles, and joints.
This is especially to less fit people such as the underweight, overweight or people with joint problems.
They should consider using them only once in a while, start slow, have short length sprints or go for walks. When all this is observed, you will enjoy the following benefits:
What ankle weights would help you achieve
- Increased endurance- as stated earlier, ankle weights require the user to exert more effort when running. The more calories you want to burn, the more effort you will be compelled to exert. This, therefore, increases the ability to endure the heavyweights. Additionally, the more you use them, the less strenuous they start feeling hence increasing your endurance and building your stamina.
- Toning of legs- cardio alone is known for burning fat but not building muscles. The most effective workout consists of both cardio and strength training. This is where ankle weights come in. They add more resistance on your leg muscles. They work the calves, glutes, and hamstrings hence giving you nicely toned legs.
- More calorie burn- this is the primary goal of using weights when running, right? Running with added weights to your legs burns more calories since more energy than usual is required. Burning more calories quicker is a sure way of achieving quicker results. This, in turn, makes your workouts more effective.
- Creates versatility- running alone without weights can be plain and will not do much for you. However, adding ankle weights creates more versatility. You can also decide the amount of weight you want since they vary from 2-10lbs and can be adjusted to your preference. You can also choose to make short sprints instead of running for many miles. The versatility of workouts makes them more interesting and effective.
2. Weighted Vests
Another way of making running more challenging is the use of weighted vests. Made of strong nylons, these are worn on the torso and have adjustable weight bars.
They create more resistance than when working out without weights.
To achieve the benefits of this vest, one should be careful not to overdo by carrying more than 5% of your body weight.
This is because it can exert more force on your bones, shorten your strides, change your form or cause injury.
One should, therefore, be keen on how the weights feel or consider starting with light weights and progress with time. When done correctly, you gain the following:
What weighted Vests would help you achieve
- Increased strength and endurance- like any other weight, weighted vests also makes one tougher the more they are used. At first, the weights feel heavy but with time strength is built to the point you have to add more weight. One requires more energy to balance the extra weight hence burning more calories. This, in turn, makes one stronger and builds endurance to adapt to the added weight compared to the normal body weight.
- Creates variation- weighted vests create a routine which is more different than running without weights at all. When you wear them, your body is forced to adapt to this newly added weight exerted on the torso and the whole body. This variation increases the intensity of your workout resulting in getting better results quicker.
- Improves the cardiovascular system- when using weights, the body is required to produce a higher amount of energy than usual. For this to happen, both heart rates and breathing rates are increased. However, our bodies have their limits.
When used consistently, weighted vests increase this ability.
There is an increased heart rate to pump more blood and increased the ability of lungs to consume oxygen.
This reduces the rate of exhaustion hence increasing running time.
- Improves the musculoskeletal system- working out also helps in strengthening our bones. Therefore, weighted vests fasten this advantage by exerting more weight on the bones when running. This boosts the osteoblasts which are stimulating cells that increase bone mass to handle the excess weight. As a result, you gain denser and stronger bones.
With the above benefits, it is evident that running with weights makes running more effective than without. Both types of weights; ankle weights and weighted vests all give the same benefits.
The main benefit is fastening of calorie and fat burn and toning of the body. However, when caution is not taken, it might result in serious injury.
The best way is to start slowly as your body builds more endurance. Why not incorporate weights and enjoy a more productive run today?
- Benefits From Ankle Weights [https://www.livestrong.com/article/99061-benefits-ankle-weights/]
- Risks and Benefits of Ankle Weights [https://www.livestrong.com/article/524475-risks-and-benefits-of-ankle-weights/]
- Do Weighted Vests Help When Running [https://www.livestrong.com/article/307520-do-weighted-vests-help-when-running/]
About the Author
|Annie Jones is interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle. She enjoy expressing her passion through writing. She found BoostBodyFit to share her experience on Health, Fitness, Sports Nutrition and everything else between.|