Balancing your career, family and social life can make it difficult to find time to exercise, but you don't need to be sweating through a set of chinups at the gym to tone your arm muscles. Some people choose to wear wrist weights during rigorous activities such as swimming and running, but others use them for daily use as a way of exercising without taking time to actually exercise.
Wrist weights are typically made of elastic material or cloth and attach to your body with fabric fastener straps. They're filled with substances such as sand or weighted bars made of metal or synthetic material. While this style of wrist weight is acceptable for daily use, it can be cumbersome and won't necessarily work if you want to wear it with your dress clothes to work. Instead, consider a wrist weight that is designed to look like a bracelet. These weights will help you tone your muscles but will blend in better than the traditional style.
Wrist weights commonly weigh up to 3 pounds, but when you are selecting a weight to wear during everyday life, stick to a lighter weight, at least until you get accustomed to the feeling. Try a 1-pound weight to see if it provides some resistance while still allowing you to move freely. If a 1-pound weight isn't enough, try 1.5 or 2 pounds. Some wrist weights are adjustable, allowing you to add and remove weights to customize the overall weight.
You might not notice visual signs of your wrist-weight usage immediately, but if you feel light soreness in your arm muscles, it's an indicator that the weights are working. Wearing the weights during daily activities can help tone your arms and strengthen your shoulders. The American Council on Exercise reports that if you wear wrist weights during aerobic exercises, such as walking, they can increase your heart rate up to 10 beats a minute and cause you to burn between 5 and 15 percent more calories than you would without the weights. As you wear the weights while walking to the bus stop, around your office and through the supermarket after work, you're reaping the benefits reported by the ACE.
Although the benefits that wrist weights offer can be enticing if you're trying to get in better shape, avoid the temptation to seek out the heaviest weights you can find and wear them. If they're too heavy, they aren't suitable for daily use, and the ACE reports that if you wear weights that weigh more than 3 pounds, you increase the risk of injuring not only your muscles but also your shoulder, elbow and wrist joints. During everyday use, heavy weights can be a hindrance when performing your routine tasks, such as brushing your teeth and using a computer. For these reasons, lighter weights are desirable.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.