What about hand weights?

After reading my last entry, Should you wear ankle weights?, several people asked me, “What about wrist or hand weights?”

Limit weights to non-walking workouts. Photo credit: Tiverylucky/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Limit weights to non-walking workouts. Photo credit: Tiverylucky/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m happy to address that topic.

Generally, my answer is the same: I would not recommend it. And generally, the reasons are the same.

First, I think it’s best to focus on walking while one is walking — and with the proper form and intensity, walking can be a terrific workout all on its own. (Want to learn how? Contact me.)

Also, carrying equipment while walking can increase the chances for injury. It can put unnecessary stress on the joints and muscles of the arms.

Plus, you don’t get much bang for the buck when carrying weights. Doing so increases your heart rate and calorie burn by only a small amount. You can get a good boost instead by employing techniques that can increase the intensity of your workout, such as doing intervals or increasing your overall speed.

In other words, the possible small benefit is countered by the larger risk for injury.

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