Benefits of Weight Vest Walking: How It Can Improve Your Fitness and Health

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more about us.

Are you looking for a way to spice up your walking routine? Weighted vest walking can help you skip the gym but still get physically and mentally stronger.

If you’re like me and want to be outside in Nature for a workout instead of a fluorescent filled smelly gym, consider adding a weighted vest or even a hydration hiking bladder to your hike, walk or workout.

Not only does it increase the intensity of your workout, but it can also improve your overall strength and endurance, bone density, and posture.

We all can use a little bit of that, right? 😃

benefits of weight vest walking
That hill is NO joke and with the weight vest on it becomes a great workout simply to walk.

TL;DR:

  • Walking with a weighted vest can increase the intensity of your workout and help you burn more calories.
  • It can improve your overall strength and endurance, bone density, and posture.
  • Adding a weighted vest to your walking routine can provide a challenging and effective workout.

Keep reading until the end to learn about how you can actually use a hydration bladder as a weighted vest and be multipurpose!


Tips from a Physical Therapist and Hiking Addict

One of the main benefits of weight vest walking is the increased calorie burn. By adding extra weight to your body, you are essentially making your body work harder, which results in burning more calories. This can be especially beneficial if you are looking to lose weight or improve your cardiovascular health.

Additionally, walking with a weighted vest can help improve your balance and stability, as you are forced to engage your core muscles to maintain proper posture.

🔥 🥾 Related Reading: Advice From a Hiking Addict Physical Therapist
How You Can Use Trekking Poles
Hiking better with Plantar Fasciitis

How Long Does it Really Take to Hike 3 Miles?


Top Benefits of Weight Vest Walking

If you’re looking to spice up your walking routine, adding a weighted vest might be the perfect solution. Walking with a weighted vest can provide a variety of benefits, including increased calorie burn, improved strength and endurance, better bone density, and posture.

Increased Calorie Burn 💥

Walking with a weighted vest can help you burn more calories during your workout. According to a study of 13 women, wearing a weighted vest while walking at 2.5 mph resulted in a 12% increase in kilocalorie expenditure. The added weight increases the energy expenditure required to complete the same movement, resulting in a higher calorie burn.

Improved Strength and Endurance 💪

Walking with a weighted vest can also help improve your strength and endurance. The added weight provides resistance, making your muscles work harder to complete the same movement. This can lead to increased muscle mass and improved overall fitness.

Better Bone Density and Posture 🧘‍♀️

Adding a weighted vest to your walking routine can also help improve your bone density and posture. The added weight puts pressure on your bones, stimulating the growth of new bone cells, which helps fight bone loss. Additionally, wearing a weighted vest can help improve your posture by shifting your center of gravity and forcing you to engage your core muscles.

When choosing a weighted vest, it’s important to start with a weight that is appropriate for your fitness level. The American Council on Exercise recommends starting with a vest that is 5-10% of your body weight and gradually increasing the weight as you become more fit.

Walking with a weighted vest can provide a variety of benefits for your fitness routine. However, it’s important to consult with a medical professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions such as arthritis or spinal stenosis.

| Tip

Enjoy a workout in Nature with this Adjustable Weighted Vest. Walk safely and with less bounce than normal weighted vests to build strength!


Deep Dive: Increased Calorie Burn

If you’re looking to burn more calories during your walks, consider adding a weighted vest to your routine. Weighted vest walking can increase your energy expenditure, leading to greater calorie burn and potential weight loss. In this section, we’ll explore how weight vest walking increases calorie burn and provide tips for maximizing your results.

How Weight Vest Walking Increases Calorie Burn

Walking with a weighted vest increases the amount of weight your body has to move, which requires more energy and leads to greater calorie burn. A study of 13 women found that wearing a weighted vest at 2.5 mph resulted in a 12% increase in kilocalorie expenditure.

Additionally, adding resistance to your walks can improve your cardio and speed training. The added resistance can also help build muscle, particularly in your core, quadriceps, and hamstrings. This can improve your overall fitness and body composition.

Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn

To maximize your calorie burn during weighted vest walking, consider the following tips:

  • Start with a light weight: If you’re new to weighted vest walking, start with a light weight and gradually increase the weight as you adapt to the added resistance. A vest that’s 5-10% of your body weight is a good starting point.
  • Mix up your routine: Vary your distance, incline, and speed to keep your body challenged and prevent plateauing. You can also incorporate bodyweight exercises like pushups or bench press to maximize your calorie burn.
  • Stay safe: Use an adjustable vest that fits snugly to your body to prevent injury and ensure proper form. Avoid using tactical vests or vests that are too heavy, as they can put unnecessary strain on your bones and joints.
  • Consult a professional: If you’re new to exercise or have a pre-existing condition, consult a professional before incorporating weighted vest walking into your routine. They can provide guidance on how to safely and effectively use a weighted vest for your specific needs.

Deeper Look: Improved Strength and Endurance

How Weight Vest Walking Improves Strength and Endurance

Walking with a weighted vest is an excellent way to improve your strength and endurance. By adding extra weight to your body, you are forcing your muscles to work harder than they normally would during a regular walk. This added resistance helps to build muscle mass and improve your overall strength.

Weight vest walking also helps to improve your endurance. The added weight increases your energy expenditure, which means that your body has to work harder to complete the same distance. Over time, this increased effort will help to improve your cardiovascular fitness and running speed.

More Weighted Vest Articles

➡️ Review of the best weight vests for women
➡️ Hiking with a weighted vest tips and tricks
➡️ Benefits of weight vest walking
➡️ How to use a weighted vest to lose weight
➡️ Weight vest exercise benefits
➡️ Everything you need to know about weight vests and osteoporosis
➡️ Weighted Vest vs Rucking
➡️ Wearable Resistance


Tips for Maximizing Strength and Endurance Benefits

To maximize the strength and endurance benefits of weight vest walking, it is important to follow a few key tips:

  • Start with a lightweight vest: If you are new to weight vest walking, start with a vest that is no more than 5% to 10% of your body weight. As you become more comfortable with the added weight, you can gradually increase the size of the vest.
  • Focus on your posture: Walking with a weighted vest requires proper posture to maintain balance and stability. Make sure to keep your shoulders back, your core engaged, and your hips aligned with your feet.
  • Incorporate inclines and sprints: To challenge your muscles even further, incorporate inclines and sprints into your weight vest walking routine. This will help to increase your power and build muscle in your quadriceps and hamstrings.
  • Consult a medical professional: If you have any medical conditions or concerns, it is important to consult a medical professional before starting a weight vest walking routine.

By following these tips and gradually increasing the weight of your vest, you can adapt your body to the added resistance and reap the benefits of this form of resistance training.


Better Bone Density and Posture

How Weight Vest Walking Improves Bone Density and Posture

Walking with a weighted vest can help improve bone density and posture. According to Harvard Health, adding weight to your body during exercise puts pressure on your bones, which stimulates them to grow stronger. This is especially important for older adults or those with osteoporosis, as bone density tends to decrease with age.

Weighted vest walking can also improve posture. The added weight forces your body to maintain proper alignment, which can help prevent slouching and other posture-related issues. Additionally, walking with a weighted vest can help strengthen the muscles in your back and core, which are essential for good posture.

Tips for Maximizing Bone Density and Posture Benefits

To maximize the bone density and posture benefits of weighted vest walking, follow these tips:

  • Start with a lightweight vest. According to American Bone Health, a vest that weighs 4% to 10% of your body weight is ideal. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, start with a vest that weighs 6 to 15 pounds.
  • Gradually increase the weight. As your body adapts to the added weight, gradually increase the weight of your vest. This will help ensure that you continue to challenge your bones and muscles.
  • Walk with proper form. To maximize the posture benefits of weighted vest walking, maintain proper form. Keep your shoulders back and down, your chest lifted, and your core engaged. Avoid slouching or leaning forward.
  • Use good shoes. Walking with a weighted vest puts additional stress on your feet and ankles, so make sure you wear supportive shoes with good cushioning.

Your Weight in lbsIdeal Vest Weight
1255 – 12.5
1506 – 15
1757 – 17.5
2008 – 20

By following these tips, you can reap the bone density and posture benefits of weighted vest walking.


Alternatives to Weighted Vests

woman wearing hydration bladder as a weighted vest
Me and Shadow unloading the cornhole bags I used inside the hydration bladder pocket to act as a weighted vest.

Hiking and walking with a weighted vest doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy a single use case device. One of my favorite ways to increase my hiking workout is to wear a hydration bladder loaded up with the weight of the water and it gets easier the more I hydrate : win-win!

Most have small pockets that you can stash some essentials, like cornhole bags that will add some weight to your walk.


Final Verdict

Weighted vest walking can be a great way to increase your calorie burn and improve your overall fitness. By starting with a light weight and gradually increasing the resistance, incorporating bodyweight exercises, and staying safe, you can maximize your results and enjoy the benefits of this effective exercise.

| Tip

Enjoy a workout in Nature with this Adjustable Weighted Vest. Walk safely and with less bounce than normal weighted vests to build strength!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does walking with a weighted vest burn more calories?

Yes, walking with a weighted vest can burn more calories than walking without one. According to a study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, wearing a weighted vest during exercise can increase energy expenditure, resulting in higher calorie burn. However, it’s important to note that the amount of calories burned will depend on factors such as the weight of the vest and the intensity of the exercise.

What is the best weighted vest for walking?

The best weighted vest for walking is one that fits comfortably and is adjustable to your body size. Look for a vest that is made of breathable material and has evenly distributed weight. The weight of the vest should not exceed 10% of your body weight, and it should be easy to put on and take off.

Can weighted vest walking help with fat loss?

Yes, weighted vest walking can help with fat loss. By increasing the intensity of your workout, you can burn more calories and lose fat. However, it’s important to combine weighted vest walking with a healthy diet and other forms of exercise to see the best results.

How heavy should a weighted vest be for walking?

The weight of a weighted vest for walking should not exceed 10% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, your vest should not weigh more than 15 pounds. Starting with a lighter weight and gradually increasing the weight as you become more comfortable is recommended.

Are weighted vests good for walking?

Yes, weighted vests are good for walking. They can help increase the intensity of your workout, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and increase bone density. However, it’s important to start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable. It’s also important to use proper form and not overload your body.

Should you walk with a weighted vest every day?

No, you should not walk with a weighted vest every day. It’s important to give your body time to rest and recover between workouts. Two to three times a week is a good starting point, and you can gradually increase the frequency and duration of your workouts as you become more comfortable. It’s also important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard.



Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.

Related Resources

MORE HIKING RESOURCES

Get more physical therapist expert hiking tips here 👎🏻

Moselsteig Hike Cheat Sheet: Epic Wine & Delicious Multi-day Hiking
If you love hiking for your soul – you've come to the …
How to Use Trekking Poles for Knee Pain: Tips for Outdoor Comfort
When it comes to hiking, knee pain can be a significant barrier. …

Thanks for reading this post on weighted vest walking.