Obesity is a very common disease worldwide, with its prevalence gradually growing. As more people are leading increasingly sedentary lives and eating less healthy food, this ailment will have huge ramifications in the future.
An increasingly popular tool to fight obesity is the weighted vest. Weighted vests have a lot of advantages when it comes to weight loss.
Roughly about 42% of people in the US are obese. Obesity can result in a lot of diseases, like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and certain types of cancers.
In recent years, there has been a different approach to keeping your body weight in check. There is growing evidence to suggest that wearing weighted vests-which are nothing but vests with provisions to carry small and compact weights-regularly can help keep your body weight under control.
How Do Weighted Vests Help?
Weighted vests have been used for a variety of purposes. They initially found use in workouts and training sessions, where the additional load brought in by the vests strengthened muscles and made athletes perform better. When used while running, or during CrossFit training, they conditioned the body better and made it stronger.
Slowly, the utility of weighted vests transcended sports training. Weighted vests are now used by women to slow down or reverse the effects of osteoporosis, and kids to alleviate symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders, like ADHD and autism.
Yet another benefit of wearing weighted vests is weight loss. When worn consistently over a period, weighted vests can trick the brain into believing that you have become heavier and that your body must work harder to perform daily activities.
This accelerates calorie burn and facilitates weight loss. Studies have shown a non-negligible weight loss in people wearing weighted vests for 3 weeks.
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Advantages of Wearing Weighted Vests for Weight Loss
Loss in Fat Mass and Gain in Muscle Mass
Our body structure (or how we look) depends largely on two factors- fat mass, and muscle mass. Both can make our frames look big.
Muscle mass is the amount of muscle in your body, including the skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscles. Muscle mass plays a very big indicator of your fitness and having too little of it may mean you are unhealthy. Muscle mass is built through proper diet and exercise.
Muscle mass helps in faster recovery and in the prevention of certain diseases. It can also give you more energy and stronger muscles. On the other hand, fat mass is a measure of the fat accumulated in your body.
Fat is essential to maintain optimal body temperature, especially in cold weather. It also helps to cushion joints and protect the organs of the body from injury. However, the accumulation of too much fat may make you obese.
Ideally, the number of calories you consume should be equal to that your burn. If you burn too few calories, as a result of insufficient exercise, the excess energy gets stored under your skin as fat. Having too much fat increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases in human beings.
When you wear a weighted vest, you make your body slightly heavier. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs and wear a weighted vest of 15 lbs, you make yourself 10% heavier. This makes the body use up more energy than usual to perform any activity.
Over time, provided you do not consume more food than usual, the body converts the accumulated fat into energy to make up for the shortfall. This can lead to weight loss. Simultaneously, your muscle mass would improve because your muscles need to work harder to carry the additional load.
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Improving Cardiovascular Capacity
The cardiovascular system plays a very big role in determining your health. The heart is an organ that never stops functioning throughout your life and constantly pumps blood to the various body parts.
When you do any work, your muscles need oxygen to make the energy required for the activity. If your heart cannot pump oxygenated blood effectively, your muscles will be unable to function optimally.
An important variable used in measuring the capacity of the heart is called VO2 Max. VO2 Max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize during exercise. The higher your VO2 Max, the more efficient your heart is, and the easier it is for you to perform any exercise.
Wearing weighted vests can have a beneficial impact on the cardiovascular capacity of the wearer. By giving your heart a fractionally additional load, a weighted vest can train your heart to pump better and improve this VO2 Max.
Over time, this increased VO2 Max correlates to a healthy heart and may ensure you live a long and disease-free life.
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Developing Good Balance and Coordination
Have you observed that old people stumble and fall at times, either while they are working out or doing daily chores? This is because their bodies are unable to stay upright, or that multiple body parts are not able to move about in coordination.
One way of maintaining good balance and coordination is to load your body with small weights. Scientific research has shown that wearing weighted vests regularly improves balance.
By wearing weighted vests, you can make your body be more aware of its surroundings, its ability to stay upright and to make smooth and coordinated movements.
While we make every effort to provide updated and correct information, the advice given in this article and website should not be construed as “medical advice.” Please consult with your fitness trainer or medical practitioner before using any weighted vest for weight loss. Everyone may have his or her unique issues, and your fitness trainer or medical practitioner is the best person to decide if you can wear a weighted vest for weight loss.