Is Walking With A Weighted Backpack Bad? [Advantages And Risks Of Rucking]

Rucking is the term that has been recently developed to describe the method of exercise characterized by walking with a weighted backpack on. Everyone works out to achieve a certain target. You can enhance workouts by simply incorporating weighted backpacks into any of your fitness routines, and that includes walking. 

Weighted backpacks are the most convenient way of increasing the intensity and performance of a simple walking exercise. Adding extra weight using weighted backpacks and then walking around needs more effort, maximizing calorie burn.

Walking requires more time, strength, and intensity to increase your heart rate and burn as many calories as other aggressive exercise modes. Walking with more weight on your upper body helps increase your muscular endurance and overall body strength.

Advantages Of Walking With A Weighted Backpack

Advantages Of Walking With A Weighted Backpack

Unlike other weighted options of exercise that evenly distribute weight to your back, front, and sides, weighted backpacks place the weight solely on your back. The benefits of walking with a weighted backpack are:

1. Crushes Calories Easily

You do not need to get on a treadmill to burn calories. Rucking is the way to go because it is less stressful on the body. A 30-minute walk in a weighted backpack burns approximately 125 calories.

Rucking is an effective alternative compared to outdoor running and running indoors on treadmills. When running, many impacts are felt in the calves and the knees. No impact is felt on the calves or the knees with rucking, meaning it feels less intense but burns more calories.

2. Increases Cardiovascular Strength

Rucking is effective for caloric burn for weight loss and cardiovascular and muscular strength. The force the weighted backpack adds to the body forces the back, legs, glutes, and shoulders to be in constant activity.

The constant activity of all the muscle groups involved keeps the body weight balanced all through. This activity improves cardiovascular and muscular strength in a great way. Strength is enhanced across the muscles, and it is highly beneficial for the body’s strength.

3. Improves Poor Posture And Relieve Backpain

In today’s world, there are several routine tasks that people perform, and they end up damaging their posture. Imagine spending hours bent in front of a computer screen every day? Such routines cause massive back problems.

When you wear a weighted backpack, it pulls the shoulders back while rucking. The more you walk in this backpack, the more the back aligns itself back into place to better your posture.

4. It’s Relatively Easy

Unlike other forms of exercise that require membership processes to join, fancy sports attire, bands, and gloves, rucking doesn’t require all that hustle to start. As a beginner, you can start rucking simply by throwing on your weighted backpack and taking a walk.

When starting, you should begin with weighted backpacks that are 10% of your body weight. This weight can be made of anything as long as it fits in your rucksack. Just about anybody can start in this exercise.

5. It’s A Great Outdoor Activity

Rucking is an outdoor activity that generates happiness at the exposure to nature. Whether you’re out rucking for better cardiovascular health or weight loss, you’re going to benefit from and enjoy the outdoors’ fresh air.

It’s also easier to have an exercise partner for outdoor activities instead of indoor activities. This makes the activity much fun as rucking alongside a friend enhances the experience.

Risks Of Walking With Weighted Backpacks

Risks Of Walking With Weighted Backpacks

Weighted backpacks should be used in moderation as walking with too much extra weight can often expose you to muscle and joint injuries.

1. Muscle And Joint Injuries

Adding too much weight to your backpack comes with several risk factors. Too much weight stresses your joints and muscles and hence leading to damage.

While loading your weighted backpack, be sure to do it moderately. Wrong usage or too much extra weight in these fitness backpacks can injure your back and spine due to too much pressure.

2. Increases Blood Pressure 

Rucking for an extended period raises your blood pressure. Blood pressure is affected by having too much weight gripped on your body for too long.

High blood pressure levels lead to other serious health problems, which may also turn out to be long-term.

Tips To Consider When You Choose Walking In Weighted Backpacks

1. Choose Light Weigh

Study shows that you should not carry a weighted backpack that exceeds 5% of your body mass as a newbie. More experienced athletes can opt to try 2-3 pounds of weight.

2. Keep The Trails Short

A 15-20 minutes walk is desirable if you’re starting. You will gradually add more time as you gain experience.

3. Take Breaks

Weighted walks are not meant to be done every other day. 2-3 times a week is good for a start. Rucking too often puts your body at risk.

4. Watch Your Pace

Walking too fast with weights can damage your joints immensely. It is important to keep a moderate pace while walking. As you learn more and adapt to rucking, you can decide to increase your speed a little with time.

5. Maintain The Proper Form Of Walking

You should maintain the right posture while rucking. Relax your shoulders, keep your feet light and avoid bending while rucking.

6. Choose Adjustable Weighted Backpacks

You should easily add or remove weight from the backpack you choose. Secondly, the weighted backpack should fit well, not too loose and neither too tight.

Final Thoughts

Walking with weighted backpacks is the simplest and fastest way to burn calories. You may find these backpacks uncomfortable while starting, but with time, everything eases out as you gain more experience in rucking.

Even though more weight burns more calories, don’t rush over rucking with too much weight. That is because it will pose injuries to your joints and ligaments. Just make it a gradual process, and the results of your progress will finally impress you.

Rucking is an activity that soldiers have been doing for hundreds of years, so be assured that this activity is not bad for you. 

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