My Secret Workout Weapon: Ankle Weights
By NurseBridgid on January 20, 2013
BlogHer Original Post
A couple of years ago, I was unable to run for a couple of months, and it was absolutely killing me. My doctor told me that I was allowed to walk as much as I wanted, he just really didn’t want me running for a bit. Well, I felt like I was constantly walking and seeing all the results of my running going down the drain (I am obsessed with noticing muscle formation in my legs and it makes me really sad when I notice that they aren’t as cut as they should be). So, I decided to get ankle weights, just 3 lbs, and I thought that they were too light at first, but let me tell you, at the end of a few 4 mile walks with my dogs, I totally noticed a difference, and I saw the definition in my calves coming back! On average, you burn an extra 180 calories an hour using 3 lb ankle weights, which isn’t a huge amount BUT it is an extra calorie deficit, and you are building muscle, which helps you burn more calories during the day.
When I got back into running, I tried with the weights, but that was a touch too much for me…I was lucky to get three miles without dying! But, I started wearing my ankle weights while doing housework (vacuuming, doing laundry, etc), while running errands (under pants, of course), and even at work. It tires your legs out so much and puts a little extra boost of exercise in your every day movements that you wouldn’t normally have. Plus, it was hidden, so it was my own little secret that I was getting a workout while running to each Code Blue!
If I have a great run or workout, I don’t bother with the ankle weights, but if I have a day where I am running around doing errands, and I know that I won’t have time for a proper workout, it gives my body a little exercise that I know I wouldn’t be fitting in otherwise. Also, you can get spicy and move up and down the weights to work best with your level of activity and comfort; they can be purchased for pretty cheap at Target or Amazon; there are super expensive versions, but really all you need is something to strap onto your ankles that isn’t huge and bulky! The ones that you can change the weights in tend to be a bit more pricey…I just bought a 3lb and a 5lb version because it ended up being cheaper than the adjustable version.
Also, low weight stimulation to your muscles, while helping to tone the muscles, also helps to adhere them to your bones, thus making your bones stronger, so this is a good suggestion for those of us who don’t get enough calcium OR anyone over the age of 30 to prevent osteoporosis. So, while helping burn a few extra calories, it also prevents the degradation of your bones! And, notice what a difference walking, running, etc. feels like when you take the weights off- you feel like you are floating on air!!
Yours in Good Health