Vibration Platform and It's Benefits
What Are the Health Benefits of a Vibrating Fitness Machine?
Origins of the Whole Body Vibration Platform: Whole-body vibration was born in the USSR, where Soviet astronauts used rudimentary vibrating “plates” to simulate various aspects of space travel. News of the positive effects of vibration on human health spread internationally. In no time, countries from the US to France to China began including whole body vibration in their space programs
How Does It Work?
The most popular form of vibration exercise features a person standing with knees bent on a platform. When the user is ready, they flip a switch and the platform begins to vibrate. Vibration machines vary in their speed, but the most common setting is 30 vps (vibrations per second).
The human body interprets 30 vps as a danger signal, and fires a powerful “stress reflex” that causes the muscles to contract. The body’s “stress” reaction is the key to whole body vibration fitness. The contraction of human musculature generates a wave of physiological changes, including increased strength, better balance/stability, and improved blood flow. Believe it or not, professional athletes have begun using vibration machines to help speed recovery from intense workouts. Some additional benefits include increased metabolic rate, flexibility, HGH production, improved bone density, and better circulation in the lymph nodes.
Who Can Benefit From Whole Body Vibration Platform? One of the most incredible facts about whole body vibration is that it can improve the lives of everyone – able-bodied people, the physically disabled, and even our elders. Whole-body vibration can serve as a much-needed exercise alternative for sufferers of Parkinson’s, MS, and severe arthritis who may not have the mobility to exercise in more traditional ways. Similarly, elderly people who are too feeble to perform traditional exercises have shown improvements in muscle strength and bone density after using vibration machines.
Elderly adults can see improvement from vibration machines. Bone mineral density can increase in older women who use the machines. Elderly patients also can experience improved muscle strength and balance and lessen the risk of falling.
Diabetes Forecast reports on a study done at Artesis University College and the University of Antwerp in Belgium which concluded that vibration training may have benefits for obese patients. In a study of 79 overweight adults, those who used vibration platforms to perform a variety of exercises lost 11 percent of their body weight. In a follow-up, they had maintained a 10.5-percent weight loss.
Using the vibration platform properly is very important for good results. Just standing on the platform is not likely to provide much benefit. Exercises like pushups and sit ups need to be performed while on the platform for optimal benefits. It is helpful to have trained personnel instructing exercisers on good form.
Health Benefits of WBVT :
- increased circulation, muscle strength and flexibility
- better range of motion
- core conditioning and stability
- faster muscle recovery after working out
- enhanced metabolism
- increased bone mineral density
- reduction of the stress hormone cortisol
- elevation of human growth hormone levels
- improved lymphatic flow
- reduce cellulite and stimulate collagen production for smoother skin
- provide muscle toning and conditioning for those who have health restrictions that keep them from exercising, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and some forms of arthritis.
- Obese and diabetic mice gained similar muscle mass and insulin sensitivity improvements putting in either 45 minutes/day on a treadmill or standing on a vibrating platform for 20 minutes/day for four months
- Whole body vibration can also add another dimension of benefit to warmups, cool-downs and conventional exercises such as squats and planks, and can help seniors improve bone strength and general health
While vibrating platforms are safe for most individuals, including the elderly, the American Council on Exercise warns WBVT is contraindicated for those with electronic implants such as pacemakers, pregnant women, and those with a history of seizures, thrombosis and/or tumors.
Also understand that WBVT is not a replacement for exercise. It may help you get started if you're so overweight you cannot walk or exercise normally, but it's not a magic bullet, as you will not reap the cardiovascular benefits of exercise by simply sitting or standing on the platform.