As 2017 gets into full swing and thousands of people dust off their running shoes in a bid to get fit this year, leading indoor go-karting company TeamSport has conducted research into the health benefits of karting.
Karting has a number of health benefits including an increased heart rate, strength building, improvements in reflexes and reaction time, and burning off calories to help aid weight loss.
These are supported by a study, conducted by a group of UK adults at the TeamSport Leeds track, which saw participants complete a track session wearing specialist heart rate monitors, which measured resting heart rate, the average heart rate increase during the session and calories burnt throughout the race.
The research found that the group burned an average of 358 calories per half hour while karting - almost 40% more than calories burnt through jogging. Trampolining for the same amount of time will burn 167 calories, meaning you will have to bounce for double the amount of time to see the same health benefits.
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Dom Gaynor, Managing Director at TeamSport, said: “As well as burning calories in a fast paced and exciting environment, there are also a range of health benefits that come with regular karting, such as better reaction times and concentration levels, increases in heart rate and getting that adrenaline pumping. Trying out karting as a new hobby for 2017 also has the added benefit of involving family members and friends, making it much more fun than a standard gym membership.”
Matt Plowman, Personal Trainer and Nutrition and Fitness Adviser at Cardiff Sports Nutrition, said: “The forces that occur during karting help the body to burn calories - in an hour it's estimated that you can burn around 300 calories. Firstly, there is an improvement in cardiovascular fitness, which is caused by a rise in body temperature that happens as a result of wearing the protective clothing. Karting also gets your heart rate up and works your core and forearms too, as you are constantly twisting and turning your body to manoeuvre the vehicle, improving your bicep and tricep muscles. The adrenaline caused by karting also helps to boost your metabolism as the process dilates blood vessels which increases oxygen flow to cells and other parts of the body, thus improving your metabolic rate.”
Some of the additional health benefits of regular karting include:
Better reflexes and reaction times: Nothing is better at increasing reaction times than flying around a track at 40mph! TeamSport’s multi-level tracks all feature an array of sharp corners and bends, meaning drivers have to make snap decisions on the best time to brake and speed up in order to secure their place on the winners podium.
Increase in concentration levels: Whether you are a karting novice or a seasoned professional, drivers need to keep a high level of concentration throughout the race to stop themselves losing control. Each track session will help sharpen the senses as drivers become aware of what is around them - both the track course and other karts.
Building confidence: Although karting is primarily a fun pastime, the competitive element of the sport, along with improving your driving technique, is great for building confidence both on and off the track. Teenagers and learner drivers will also find that skills learnt on the track, such as reaction times and muscle memory, will benefit them when they get behind the wheel of a car.
Increase in heart rate: There is no denying that even before the light turns green, adrenaline will be pumping as drivers prepare to put their foot down. A rush of adrenaline will increase heart rates, get blood pumping around the body and boost energy levels.
Builds strength: Steering a heavy kart around the track works muscles in both your arms and legs, giving you a full body workout.