What is rucking? If you’ve ever used a weighted vest during an exercise routine, then you’ve already done it! Rucking is like taking your walking routine to the next level. It’s weight training and low-impact cardio at the same time. By rucking, you get your cardio and resistance workout done with just one workout. Now that’s convenient! 

By getting into the habit of rucking at your next workout, you’ll:

  • Get your heart rate up quicker
  • Engage your legs, back, shoulders and core
  • Work out your abs
  • Increase the amount of calories you burn

You can adjust how intensive your workout is just by adjusting the amount of weight to your vest, or by your walking pace. Rucking is a middle of the road workout because it’s harder than a leisurely walk (increases your heart rate) but easier than a strenuous run (easier on the joints.)

You can fashion your own weighted vest at home, but investing in one instead can be beneficial because it will evenly distribute the weight and decrease the risk of injuries that may happen with a DIY vest.

Further benefits to this inexpensive workout are that it improves strength by building muscle, improves cardiovascular capacity (increases VO2 max), burns 30%-45% more calories than without a vest, improves balance and strengthens bones. This is especially important as we age to prevent sarcopenia and osteoporosis.

If you do this workout for 150 minutes per week, you will meet the exercise guidelines which helps improve brain function, improve sleep and decrease stress. It’s also good for your mental health since you will be exercising outdoors.

So how much weight is acceptable to start with?  The rule of thumb is to start with 5%-10% of your body weight. So, for example, a 150-pound person should start with an 8lb-15lb weighted vest.

Happy exercising!