6 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Weighted Vest

A weighted vest is a low impact option for increasing your fitness levels. It adds extra weight when performing body-weight exercises such as walking, running or agility drills. A weighted vest can also increase the intensity of an exercise, making it harder to perform.

You don't have to be a professional athlete to benefit from a weighted vest - anyone can use one to do simple daily activities. Putting on the extra weight can help you to burn calories and it can even increase bone density. Take a look below at some of the benefits to wearing a weighted vest.

How does a weighted vest help me?

A weighted vest can help develop strength, endurance and cardio. Adding extra mass can help influence the way your muscles stress and strain during fitness. The added weight increases the force at which you exert yourself which leads to faster energy depletion, and this can actually lead to positive results. A weighted vest can also add variety to a work-out - you can use a vest in a multiple of different body-weight exercises.

Can you build muscle with a weighted vest?

Using a weighted vest while working out puts your bones under extra strain. They respond by building more bone mass, which creates denser bones, connective tissue and an overall stronger muscoskeletal system. But remember to increase your weight over time - if training with the same weighted vest for a long period of time, your body will adapt to the resistance and you will stop seeing results.

How heavy should a weighted vest be?

A weighted vest should not weigh more than 10 per cent of your body weight. Research has suggested that weighted vests should be around 4-10 per cent of your body weight. In order to gain the best value for money from a weighted vest, a good tip is to purchase a vest that allows you to start at a lower weight and gradually add more weight to it over time. When choosing the right weighted vest, it is advisable to start small. Purchasing a vest of five to ten pounds is recommended for beginners.

Can I wear a weight vest all day?

It is not advisable to wear a weighted vest for the whole day as it is likely to make you very tired and could cause soreness and muscle burn in various parts of your body. If while exercising, any of your muscles start to hurt, take off the vest immediately. A tip for beginners is to do shorter bursts to begin with and build up your timing and weight slowly. If only using your weight vest for short sessions of 20 minutes to an hour, you shouldn't experience any negative impact on your body.

Is a weighted vest good for losing weight?

Yes, it is possible to lose weight with a weighted vest. Heavier people tend to burn off more calories because their bodies require more energy to carry out the same tasks, therefore wearing a weighted vest while carrying out simple day-to-day exercises such as walking encourages weight loss. A recent study also suggested that when a person's weight suddenly increased, their bones registered the change and tried to restore the body's long-term equilibrium. In doing so, a person's appetite became reduced which meant they started to eat less and subsequently lost weight.

What exercises can I perform wearing a weight vest?

You can perform a number of normal exercises using a weighted vest such as walking or running whereby simply putting the extra weight on your body will make this type of activity a lot harder. If you want to push yourself further, you can use a weighted vest for exercises such as push-ups and other agility exercises to improve cardio capacity, muscular endurance and overall strength. A weighted vest is the ideal solution for people who are out of shape to gently increase calorie burn while avoiding high intensity exercise.

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