Increase calorie burn by weighing more

It’s not hard to come across weighted body attachments such as bicep, forearm, thigh and calf bands, wrist weights and ankle weights, even weighted gloves, but you may wonder what exactly it is they do. Well, they are meant to help you burn calories and lose weight.

Basic strap-on bulky weight style sets can cost as little as $10, while top-of-the-line sets sell for up to $60.

How do arm and leg weights work?

Much like weight vests arm and leg weights work by fooling your body into thinking you’ve gained weight. The more your body weighs, the more calories it burns. These weights add pounds to your frame, so without you having to do more than just go about your daily business, you’ll be burning additional calories.

Are they safe?

Some experts say ankle weights shouldn’t be used during cardio (walking, jogging) because they put too much stress on a single joint, which can damage connective tissues. Wrist weights may increase damage in those with carpal tunnel syndrome. Otherwise it’s hard to find compelling evidence for or against their safety.

The best thing to do is use caution. If you purchase a set of arm or leg weights try them out and slowly increase the amount of time you wear them. If you feel any unusual pain or discomfort it’s a good idea to stop. Getting injured is only going to take you further away from your goal.

The next generation of arm and leg weights?

One company makes leg and arm weights called BodyTogs that fit to the body’s contours with a seamless Lycra-blend sleeve. Housed inside the sleeve are evenly distributed steel plates. The calf set weighs 4 lbs while the forearm set weighs 3 lbs total.

This product is the perfect example of boosting calorie burn through non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). The idea is you don’t always need to participate in traditional workouts to burn more calories. This product, for instance, tricks your body into thinking it weighs seven pounds more than it does, so your body works harder and burns more calories.

According to the website wearing BodyTogs for 10 hours is the equivalent calorie burn of running for 90 minutes.

The weights are meant for non-exercise activity such as walking the dog, doing housework and running errands, although they can be worn at the gym. They are even claimed to be fitted enough to wear unseen to the office.

Are BodyTogs as great as they sound? I can’t tell you that, but it is a promising concept. If you feel you could benefit from a little extra help in the weight loss department it wouldn’t hurt to talk to your doctor before using any of the products mentioned.