Wearing ankle weights or carrying hand weights while walking or running has not been something advocated by researchers or by SNEWSÂ®. However, we must add that the caution is based on, one, a generalization and, two, that the weights carried or worn are often 3-5 pounds (or, goodness, even 8-10 pounds). Heavy weights can cause high blood pressure, strained ligaments and tendons, and over-fatigued muscles, among other physical abuses.
Of course, there are exceptions: Is the wearer training for something that will require more weight (e.g. wearing heavy backpack boots) or adventure racing carrying gear? Is the person basically healthy with no muscular, metabolic or bone injuries or predispositions to injury? And -- this is perhaps key for these Jolie Weights -- are the weights light enough not to cause excess strain.
Jolie Weights were introduced to the market less than a year ago. They are tiny little "sandbag" like containers that weigh a pound each and that you attach to the tops of your shoes. They go on easy, stay on well, and don't flop about annoyingly.
SNEWSÂ® had a half-dozen different people, men and women, fit and unfit, younger and older, try the weights for a while to see what they felt or thought, both while walking for fitness and just wearing around during the day.
Overall, they all liked the feel of the SLIGHT addition of weight on the foot and the extra use of leg muscles it caused. However, one less fit user who had three knee surgeries in his past said he felt an uncomfortable "tweak" in his constructed knee after about 10 minutes of wear while walking (not on his "good" knee, however).
One more-fit and regularly active tester liked the weights' convenience and said she wanted to keep them in her car so she could put them on her shoes to wear during walks around the soccer field during her daughter's practices, perhaps once or twice a week. Another overweight tester said the weights helped her feel as if she'd done more exercise in a shorter time.
Although one felt the additional hook-and-loop attachment didn't fully adhere and had to be re-adjusted several times, all liked the way they sat firmly on top of the foot and didn't make you feel as if you were dragging a load behind you as you do with ankle weights.
Of course, everybody wants to squeeze a little extra from their exercise time, and our testers felt these weights helped someone do that -- as long as that someone didn't have knee or joint problems or start to develop any. Of course, the beauty of these tiny little sandbags is that if your legs tire out early, you can take them off your shoes, slip them in a pocket and keep going.
SNEWSÂ® Rating: 3.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $19.95
For more information: www.jolieweights.com or 888-633-1113