I think all the major points and issues have been stated; yes, there could be some good stress on the musculature, yes, some bone benefits could be had (but probably minimal), BUT the added load, and its affect on gait and overall form make the practice too risky for the average exerciser (maybe more trained athletes could employ similar techniques?).
Didn’t Len Kravitz do some research on this (or maybe just review it?).
Teresa, if you enjoy reading research you will enjoy reading the following article:
Physiological responses to walking with hand weights, wrist weights, and ankle weights.
Below is a copy of the abstract. You will need to find someone who is ACSM certified and who is a member to read the entire research study.
All the Best!
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
Original Investigations: PDF Only
Physiological responses to walking with hand weights, wrist weights, and ankle weights
GRAVES, JAMES E.; MARTIN, A DANIEL; MILTENBERGER, LENORA A.; POLLOCK, MICHAEL L.
To compare the blood pressure (BP) responses to exercise with 1.36 kg (3.0 1b) hand-held weights (HW), wrist weights (WW), and ankle weights (AW), 12 sedentary males (20.8 +/- 1.2 yr) completed three randomly assigned treadmill exercises at 75% maximum heart rate (HR) reserve. Systolic and diastolic BPs among HW (181.2 +/- 21.9 and 73.2 +/- 7.9 mm Hg), WW (180.1 +/- 27.2 and 71.0 +/- 10.1 mm Hg), and AW (183.8 +/- 26.8 and 71.7 +/- 7.8 mm Hg) were not significantly different (/>>0.05). When compared to exercise with no weights (NW), only the diastolic BP for HW was significantly different (+4.4 mm Hg, P
Walking/jogging or any low impact exercise is best for stimulating bone growth.
Basic weight bearing and resistance can help too but isn’t as beneficial.
Ankle and Wrist weights will add more work for muscles to compensate for when jogging.
I would suggest simply jogging or HIIT training. It would most likely give better results than walking or jogging with weight.
I agree with most of the answers. Clearly the added stress to proximal joints (hips and shoulders) and the lower back outweighs any possible minimal increase in osteogenesis.
One point I didn’t read was the benefit of walking up stairs or walking up hills. Just have you clients be care as the eccentric load on leg muscles is much greater than going up. I’m sure you’re aware that it’s the eccentric phase of movement that is most responsible for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS.)