To Use Weights or Not?

by MPK | October 14th, 2010 | Walking

At various times in my life, I have used walking as a part of my workout regimen.  It’s a great way to incorporate exercise into your day.  You don’t need special clothing.  It doesn’t cost anything.  It can be done in almost any location.  You can do this exercise with a companion, making it a social occasion and a workout.  However, I always wonder if walking is enough of a workout.  So, I have tried various means to increase the intensity of the workout, including using ankle weights.

Personally, I have to admit that wearing ankle weights was annoying.  Between the swish-swish sound, and the feel of weights on my ankles, it made my walk less enjoyable.  I debated whether the calories burned might be worth the annoyance. I decided to drop the weights and pick up my pace.  It seemed to work.

While walking no longer is part of my regimen, it’s a good filler when I don’t have a stair climber, set of stairs, or jump rope available.  I decided to do a little research on the benefit of using free weights when walking.  The answer is, “Skip the weights, walk faster.”  In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, using ankle weights could cause more harm than damage.  Their advice is to walk more briskly instead of adding weight.

So, if you’re looking for a simple, inexpensive way to add a cardio workout to your day, give walking a try.  Just leave the weights at home.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.