The main reasons people give me for walking with hand weights is to burn more calories and tone their arms. Neither of these will necessarily happen.
You will burn roughly the same number of calories whether you walk with or without weights:
To burn more calories walking:
- increase your pace.
- walk for a longer period of time.
- walk on an incline (treadmill) or up a hill.
- perform walking intervals.
Small weights will not provide enough resistance to tone your arms.
How to tone your arms:
‘Toning’ involves a combination of building muscle and losing body fat (so you can see the muscle).
- Perform upper body strength training exercises that feel challenging.
- Perform enough aerobic exercise to lose weight.
The extra body weight you are already carrying around (and trying to lose) adds stress to your joints which can cause pain or injury. It doesn’t make sense to add more weight to add more stress to your body and joints.
Carrying hand weights can interfere with the natural movement of your body as you walk. You might walk differently or swing your arms differently when carrying weights.
Any small change to the way your body naturally moves can lead to injury, muscle problems, or pain down the road.
About the Author
FitnessforWeightLoss.com was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...
Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...