Q&A: The risks of ankle weights?

Consumer Reports News: January 06, 2010 06:38 AM

Is it OK to wear ankle weights during exercise if you have varicose veins? —G.B., Chicago

No—but the reason has nothing to do with varicose veins. In fact, weights might help that condition by acting like compression stockings and by strengthening the leg muscles. However, ankle weights can put excessive strain on the knee and hip joints; that makes the weights generally inappropriate for aerobic workouts, regardless of the health of your veins. A better way to intensify such workouts is to gradually boost their pace or duration by no more than 10 percent per week.

Find out how to boost your walking workout —without ankle weights, and learn how simple measures can help you prevent injuries while exercising .

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