Use a Weighted Vest for Osteoporosis

August 21st, 2013

Your fitness routine could include a weighted vest for osteoporosis or osteopenia to build better bones.

Sometimes big gains in wellness can come from simple, unexpected places. We are always checking on the latest research and it is remarkable how many benefits come from functional fitness and simple fitness equipment. That is what comes to mind when reading coverage like the article in the Wall Street Journal this week: “Extra Load on Your Back to Help Build Bones” by Laura Johannes.

After designing the Hyper Vest PRO weighted vest for athletes, it came as a surprise when a lot of our customers were not athletes. From talking to you, we learned that our thin and comfortable weight vest was a favorite for those with osteopenia and osteoporosis.

weighted vest for osteoporosisStudies have shown that simply including an adjustable weight vest in your exercise will improve bone density. Women are especially prone to lose bone density and large numbers have been drawn to our vest for weight bearing exercise since the Hyper Vest PRO has style, comfort, and is so thin you can wear it under a shirt.  Our Hyper Vest PRO is the perfect solution for a fitted yet adjustable weight vest comfortable for all. It utilizes a patented design, so that you can move, walk and run comfortably while wearing the weighted vest. As the Wall Street Journal article points out, building bone mass is triggered more by higher impact activities like running or if you are walking you should power walk. Felecia Cosman, senior clinical director of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, is quoted as saying “bone responds to the magnitude of force put on it.”

Of course, you ALWAYS, should consult your medical professional before starting any exercise and it is imperative when considering any impact activity with a weighted vest to gain bone mass. The stage or severity of your osteoporosis is a big factor. The amount of weight you should be using and where you progress with added weight should also be determined with the help of your doctor. Choosing the Hyper Vest is your best choice for an adjustable weight vest so that you can very gradually increase the amount of weight you are bearing during a workout. Generally, the studies show that 4% to 10% of body weight is the range of load to use for a weight vest. Of course if you are overweight or obese, your physician may not recommend adding an additional load. (Although look for our coming article about research on brown adipose tissue activation with a cooling vest for weight loss. An exciting new area that we are focused on with CoolBurn™ for BAT activation and thermogenesis.)

Still more benefit comes from improving balance from wearing a snug weighted vest during fitness activity. Do not use a loose fitting vest. If the vest is not holding tight to your core it can shift and throw off your balance. Use the cinch straps on your Hyper Vest PRO to adjust and get a snug but comfortable fit like no other weighted vest. A study published in Rheumatology International provided evidence that the study participants improved their balance by walking three times a week with a weight vest on a treadmill. While a treadmill is great for controlled studies, make sure you include other fitness activities with your weight vest to improve balance. When walking, simply including some backwards walking can be fantastic for keeping your brain in touch with balance. Find a trail to walk on and go for a hike. It is much better for you than walking on a flat, predictable sidewalk. Many of the health challenges we face as we age have been brought on by our sedentary lifestyles and controlled environments. Get outdoors and into nature whenever and wherever you can with your weight vest to test your balance and proprioception.

Where to go for more information? Give us a call at Hyperwear or email customer service. We have a lot of experience with people who have questions about osteoporosis and weight vests. There are a number of excellent blogs about weight vests for osteoporosis we can send you to.

Whatever you do, build a fitness habit. Get into a routine so you remember to include your weight vest in an activity that will help you build bone density. This is a slow and steady process. You have to stick with it to get small daily gains that will build into significant improvement in your bone health. See your doctor regularly and get a scan to know your progress.

In the long run, it is about overall wellness. What you do for your osteoporosis will benefit your overall health. Better balance and a lower risk of falls is just one example. Do intervals of higher activity to get your heart rate up too. It’s all about a better life.

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