I remember weights called Heavy Hands in the 80's. They were these funky looking 3 to 5 pound weights with handles. People were looking to add intensity to their walks and get fit faster. Wow some things never change, it is just human nature to look for the quick fix.
The thing I remember most was hearing about the injuries that occurred from carrying the weights. That appears to still be the problem with combining walking and weights. Studies show that you can burn up to 20% more calories walking with hand weights or ankle weight- unfortunately that only works out to adding 5 extra minutes to your walk. The risk of injuring your joints is not worth 5 minutes is it? Let's just walk a little further or faster.
Think about it, most of us walkers are trying to reduce the stress on our joints- otherwise we would all be runners. So how crazy would it be to add weights to a stress free workout. The added stress on your joints and muscles from holding the weights only increases your risk for injury. Especially as you get tired and lose your good walking form. Walking with ankle weights drastically increases your risk for knee injuries so don't even think about wearing those.
I am a firm ( get that) believer in strength training with weights. Weight training strengthens bones, increases your calorie burn and metabolism and makes everyday life easier. But let's plan on a little extra time walking and then lift weights. You are worth it! Stay healthy.
Many times when we think about strength training (physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction, such as lifting weights), we think about body builders like Arnold Schwarzenegger or football players. However, what we should be thinking about is life! It is our muscles that keep us moving. Our heart that keeps us alive. Our joints that keep us flexible. Our bones that keep us standing. Our lungs that keep us breathing and laughing. These are all parts of our body that can be supported or improved with strength training. Moving better through space increases our quality of life. It allows us to do more with less effort. This benefits us both at work and at play.
We hear so much about body weight in regards to enjoyment of life. However, I believe it is more important how you move the body weight. I have seen people who are very thin, but they have a hard time carrying in the groceries, due to their lack strength. I have also known people who are carrying too much body fat, yet it has not compromised their quality of life. As a result of strength training, they have enough strength to move the extra weight.
I am not saying we shouldn’t work to attain or stay near our ideal weight. After all, good weight or bad weight it is still weight and is hard on the joints. What I am saying we should pay equal attention to strength training, because quality of life is the true aim of a health routine.