Did you know that weighed vests help reverse osteopenia?
Your doctor may have told you to start walking several times each week to help strengthen your bones. That is still good advice. Wearing a weighted vest while walking or doing any kind of exercise enhances the benefit.
If you are like me, you may have thought that wearing weights in a vest was something only athletes did, and that the purpose was to develop big muscles or increase their cardiovascular workout.
Wearing a weighted vest will help you build muscle, but not the bulging kind. Rather, it just tones you up. I am not talking about using 50 pound weights, just 1/2 pound weights to start and then you can add more gradually.
What does that have to do with osteopenia?
Every time your muscles work harder, your supporting bones are also strengthened.
I have read some encouraging reports from women who are increasing their bone density by wearing weighed vests. This is very exciting news.
Using weights this way can also have another benefit. While it tones and strengthens your muscles, it also helps you burn fat, which causes you to lose weight. So your body gets leaner while your bones get stronger!
What could be better than that?
I was recently pleased to find weighed vests that are specially designed for women. They are not only practical, but can be worn comfortably in any casual setting – walking, mowing the lawn, at the gym, cleaning the house, on a treadmill, shopping or going to and from work.
The weights are adjustable – added by 1/2 pound increments.
* A word of caution relating balance. You need to start wearing your vest with very minimal weights until you are sure you are able to balance easily. It is surprising how adding the weights can affect your balance.
* Another word of warning. A weight vest is not advised if you have weak bones in your spine. The added weight could hinder rather than help your osteopenia in that area. However, it has great value for increasing bone density in the hips.
An alternative to the vest for osteopenia of the spine, is wearing weighed shorts, which are also available.
If you have desired to work with weights but have pain in your hands and find it hard to hold dumbbells, the vest is much easier to use. It provides the benefit of added weight without having to use your hands to hold it.
I am happy to recommend these vests and / or shorts for your bone strengthening program.