A common question that I’ve been getting from you in the mail from time to time is whether go-karting can help you lose weight. It’s funny that you actually ask me about that, considering that I’m not the… skinniest of people on the track. But, as always, I did my research, and I found a few interesting facts about losing weight by go-karting.
The short answer is that you won’t lose any significant weight when go-karting. A regular 10-20-minute karting session is similar to an entire workout in terms of intensity. But, karting is an anaerobic exercise, so its primary purpose is to strengthen your muscles.
That said, professional drivers can definitely lose some weight when they race go-karts. This happens because professional karting drivers follow a strict diet and push their go-karts to their limits. Plus, they have to stay as lightweight as possible because being heavy will have a negative effect on their performance.
So, semi-professionals and leisure drivers like myself don’t have a significant chance of losing weight when go-karting. But, there are certain muscle groups that are under lots of stress during karting.
What Muscles Do You Use When Go-Karting?
One of the first things I noticed after go-karting for the first time was that I got really sore. While I still get sore and sick from time to time, I’ve noticed that a few muscles are sorer than others.
There are several muscles that you use when go-karting. The main ones are:
Go-karts don’t have power steering, so you’ll have to turn them with your entire arms’ strength. While your biceps and triceps do a lot of work, the forearm will usually hurt the most after a go-kart race.
Like the rest of the arm, the G-forces put the shoulders under much strain. Also, you’ll need to keep your arms lifted when driving, which is why you might feel a burning sensation in your shoulders.
Everyone knows that F1 drivers do rigorous training for their necks. While the G-forces aren’t that high in karting, they still put your neck under lots of stress. I’d suggest you focus on training your neck before races so that you don’t feel sick or sore afterward.
Your core is what keeps your whole body stable. So, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the muscles that gets heavily used when karting. Not to mention that you’ll probably feel like you’ve broken your ribs because of the G-forces.
So, having said that, let’s see how many calories you could burn after a few minutes of go-karting.
How Many Calories Do You Burn When You Drive Go-Karts?
While I’m by no means a fitness coach, a few different studies have been done to find the number of calories you burn when go-karting. But, you’ll have to keep in mind that the heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn. Also, the more you push for a faster lap, the more calories you’ll burn.
During a 30-minute karting session, you could burn anywhere from 150 to 500 calories, depending on how much you weigh and how hard you’re pushing your kart. For comparison, you’d burn between 300-500 calories when running for 30 minutes.
So… Is Karting a Good Exercise for You?
It’s hard to say whether karting is a good exercise for you. Everybody has different goals when it comes to working out.
In reality, go-karting is a great exercise to do occasionally. It hits the sweet spot between strength training and cardio. You’re exposed to high G-forces, and you’ll have to turn the whole kart with your arms while also dealing with an elevated heart rate.
But, depending on your goals, go-karting might not be a good exercise for you. For example, if you plan to lose a lot of weight, it’d be a greater choice to go jogging or running rather than go-karting (it’s also will be much cheaper).
Also, if you’re generally looking for exercises for weight loss, you should look into aerobic exercises that elevate your heart rate at 50%-70% of your max heart rate.
That said, I’d choose go-karting over any other workout because the adrenaline rush you go through makes the whole “working out” experience much more fun.
Go-karting can be a fun way to work out. It’s great to build up strength in your core and arms, but it’s also a nice cardio activity. Plus, you’re getting the adrenaline rush that makes the entire experience a breeze.
But, go-karting isn’t the best option when it comes to losing weight. You should opt for other cardio activities, like running or jogging.
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