Walking hand weights are great tools to build muscle in your arms, shoulders and core while exercising.
Although dumbbell weights seem like an obvious choice, they can actually cause more harm than good. You must make a fist to hold a dumbbell and your hands should really be open and relaxed while walking. Forcing your hands into fists can cause strain in your arms and shoulders.
There are many other options to use in the place of dumbbells. Look for weights that fit comfortably in your hand and allow you to keep your hands and arms relaxed.
A visit to a sporting goods store will allow you to try out a few different types and sizes. Here are a few I recommend that are highly rated and reasonably priced:
Gaiam Walking Weights with Handles have comfortable straps that you can adjust for a perfect fit. They are filled with sand so they will mold to your hand.
They are available in a 2-pound set (1 pound each hand) or a 4-pound set (2 pounds each hand).
These range in weight from 1 to 5-pounds.
The neoprene finish will help to give you a good grip and prevent slipping.
These weighted balls will fit nicely into your gently cupped hand, allowing you to keep your hands naturally flexed, not tightly gripped.
Walkers love that they are soft and comfortable to hold. You can choose the 2-lb, 4-lb or 6-lb per ball set.
Carrying extra pounds will certainly spice up your exercise routine.
Not only will it help to build muscle in your triceps, biceps, chest,
shoulders and core, but it will increase the intensity of your cardio
workout as well. And anytime you increase your cardio workout, you are burning more calories!
For such a small investment, the payoff in muscle toning and definition is enormous.
I would suggest using walking hand weights on every other of your walks instead of on every walk. This gives you a chance to bring your arms up to a 90-degree angle when you aren't holding the weights and really pump your arms to walk faster and burn more calories.