A reader recently told me that she was unable to wear a weighted vest and asked if I could I recommend a weighted waist belt for walking and exercise. She wondered in the weighted hip belt could increase weight bearing on bones while exercising.
There are good studies showing that weighted vests are effective for osteoporosis treatment and prevention.
However, not everyone is able to wear a weighted vest. Three common limitations that prevent people from using a weighted vest are
If either of these applies to you, perhaps a weighted waist belt for walking and exercise can address your needs
Weighted Belt for Walking and Exercise: Fit and Comfort
Several years ago I purchased a weighted waist belt for walking and exercise but I could not wear it because I am of a petite-build and the belt turned out to be too big for me to wear. My first piece of advice to my clients is to make sure that the belt fits properly and comfortably!
Consider a Diving Belt
I often suggest that my clients use a diving belt. Here is a diving belt that I think will work for most people:
I would recommend soft weights under five pounds. There are two different weight options you can use with the belt:
How to Use the Diving Belt as a Weighted Waist Belt for Walking
You should use a diving belt with at least five pockets. Number the pockets one through five. Here is how you should load the weights over time:
- Start with a single weight in the centre pocket — in this case, position (or pocket) three.
- Belts should allow even weight bearing through both sides of the belt.
- Over time as the belt starts to feel light, switch to two weights in pockets two and four.
- Add weights according to the following pattern: pockets two, three and four; and then pockets one, two, four and five.
- Finally load the belt fully.
Final Suggestions: Pay Attention to Your Feet and Knees
Be patient and build your strength gradually.
Remember you are not just loading your hips but also your knees and feet. I have had clients who decided more was better and who started to wear their weighted vests not only with exercise or walking but while doing their chores around the house. Unfortunately, their feet were not accustomed to the load and both developed plantar fasciitis. We soon got to the root of the problem but plantar fasciitis can really be a bugger to treat and is a real pain in the feet!
For more information, check out my Osteoporosis Guidelines.
By David Haberthür (image description page) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons