A lot of runners ramp up their routine with the use of body weights. Widely available in many sports and fitness stores, running with weights has become a well-known technique to elevate the endurance and efficiency in running. The additional weight pushes the body to the edge and allows it to perform at its maximum capacity; it allows specific regions of the body to exert more effort and strive harder.
As more and more runners try and work out with such accessory, running with weights has been deemed to deliver multiple health benefits. And if you want to challenge yourself with this fitness tweak on your next running routine, it would be a lot helpful to know what the benefits and the precautionary measures are before giving it a go.
The Benefits of Wearing Body Weights
How does running with weights make an impact on your running routine? Does it make you a stronger and better runner? To help you identify how it works on your body, I’ve sifted through several studies regarding its effects and jotted down the benefits of running with weights.
Helps Build Muscle Mass and Burn Fat
While many people think that running is one quick route to losing a few pounds, it actually targets the muscle mass, making it much denser, especially when you’re taking your usual runs with weights.
There are different kinds of weights but if you want to work on those muscles, you can try a running weighted vest on your subsequent training sessions. The additional workload intensifies and strengthens your exercise, allowing your muscles to slowly build up. High-density muscle tissue means stronger, healthier, and more fit body.
Aid to Weight Loss
While running stimulates muscle growth, taking an extra load with the use of body weights also help burn calories. But even though you may have been running for miles, this does not justify your food intake; you should not give in to your sweet cravings or splurge on double patty burgers just because you think you deserve a treat. Proper recovery is the key to achieve a healthy weight.
You may not solely depend on running while using weights to shed a few pounds, but together with a proper and balanced diet, it can help reach your weight goals. Supplementing your runs with wrist weights or weighted vests can also make an impact in your weight loss. Heavier weight can increase the calories you burn.
Boosts Cardiovascular Health
As you run with a weighted vest, the additional pounds drive the heart to function much harder, allowing it to pump more blood. Because it enhances the blood circulation throughout the veins, it keeps every substantial nutrient and waste in the body to go where they should be.
Depending on the extra weight you carry, a weighted vest can intensify your cardiovascular activity at a maximum or average level and therefore, bolster your cardiovascular workout according to your health demands.
Increases Endurance and Strength
Wearing ankle or leg weights add stress on your ligaments and joints. Although it might feel heavy when you’re running, the additional workload trains the lower part of the body to handle the pressure. This increases the endurance and strength which in turn leaves you with stronger core and muscles to run faster and become more fit.
Enhances Running Posture
Gearing up with a weighted vest evenly distributes the weight on your upper part of the body and therefore, enhances your balance and posture when you are running. The pressure encourages your body to keep upright and maintain the balance in its natural form.
Improves Bone Density
As your workout intensifies, your body learns to endure more pressure that helps improve bone density. The extra weight strengthens the bones and muscles so you can engage in longer distances on your next routine.
Do know that the added pressure does not make you a faster runner and your speed may actually decrease as you run. But running at this pace with your weights can make significant effects on your strength, tolerance, agility, and speed on your succeeding runs without wearing the weights.
Weights and Safety Precautions
Every time you make adjustments or you incorporate supplementary workout tools on your routine, always make sure to comply with the safety precautions. And if you are going to try weights for your next run, here are some reminders to take note of:
- Do not make abrupt changes in your routine. Make sure to incorporate the weights in your routine gradually and don’t go straight right into the heaviest weight. Work on the lightest weight possible and slowly increase the weight on the following training sessions.
Your body might not be able to handle the stress or pressure if you gear up with a heavy load for the first time. It takes some time to let your body get used to it. Otherwise, you might strain your muscles, ligaments, joints and experience unwanted pain
- If you are going to work out with weights, try them first on shorter distances. You do not want to strain your muscles and go beyond your usual pace. You are likely to experience discomfort, pain, or even injuries if you push yourself too hard.
To use the weights successfully, you need to keep the weight low and do not use them every time you run. You should give it a break every now and then
- You should keep the weights intact when you’re wearing them. If it does not fit perfectly or not properly worn, the weight won’t be evenly distributed all throughout your body and you are likely to topple over and be at risk of injuries
- Do not ignore any unwanted pain after using the weights. Listen to your body and get rid of them immediately if you’ve been experiencing a different kind of pain when using the weights
- If you have any kind of health issues, particularly leg or knee-related injuries or health problems, you must consult your doctor first to know if you are suitable to run with weights
Wrapping It Up
Running with weights do have surprising benefits when used properly and with precaution. Taking additional load on your routine can have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health, muscle growth, bone density, endurance, strength, posture, and overall health. Although you may reap all these health benefits together with proper diet and regular workout, always make sure to consult your physician before you proceed to any kind of exercise, especially if you’re recovering from injuries or have been suffering from health issues.