Whole Body Vibration Benefits
I am confident I could have gone another five minutes and was actually disappointed as I had planned on using that activity as a workout. Instead I had to go home and do a more intense workout. It was also interesting that the treadmill facility questioned me about five times to make sure I was not taking any prescription medication. Seems that, in their experience, it is highly unusual for anyone over 50 to not be on multiple drugs.
Is a Vibration Platform Right for You?
The vibration platforms originate from research conducted during the 1960s space race. They work on the principle that if muscles are exercised while being shaken, they activate neighboring muscle fibers, hence building mass faster. I first encountered this whole body vibration (WBV) technology in 2006, at which time I contacted one of the top personal trainers in the Chicago area, Tony Bruno -- an expert on muscle activation techniques – for his input on this approach. Tony felt the technology was great and had been proven to improve proprioception, strength and balance, and decrease sway in the elderly, and found it especially beneficial in rehab to increase
A vibration platform has also been proven useful for athletes, improving speed and vertical jump height, and cutting your warm-up time by half. However, he indicated that because the platform does cause a temporary decrease in joint stability, you shouldn’t use it before an event, as you’ll need to be in top form. But it would be an excellent addition to the training phase of your program. WBV training has also been shown to improve and maintain bone mineral density in postmenopausal women and the tactic is being studied for its therapeutic potential, such as increasing older women's bone mass – a far better alternative than the dangerous osteoporosis drugs currently on the market, for sure. However, the authors of the study above warn that if you have certain health conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, you may want to avoid WBV until safety concerns have been addressed more fully.
Remarkable Benefits for the Elderly
WBV training has demonstrated significant gains in most measures of muscle performance in sedentary and elderly individuals.
But one study, performed by the University of Liege in Belgium, investigated the effects of controlled whole body vibrations exercises on overall health in elderly patients and found that after 6 weeks (performing 4 one-minute sessions, 3 times a week), the participants experienced:
143 percent improvement in physical function
77 percent improvement in equilibrium
60 percent improvement in vitality
57 percent improvement in the quality of walking
41 percent reduction in pain
23 percent improvement in general health
Not bad for 12 minutes a week!
How Does Whole Body Vibration Training Benefit Your Body?
As Dr. Keith DeOrio, M.D. explains in another article, your entire body musculature, as well asyour internal organs and glands, are affected by WBV stimulation.Your muscle spindles fire secondary to the mechanical stimulation produced by the vibratingplate, and this rapid firing of the muscle spindle causes a neuromuscular response that leads tophysiological changes in your brain as well as your entire body.Traumas and injuries can leave cellular memories in your brain or body tissue that impedenormal body movement or function, even after they’re healed. Using WBV stimulation allowsyour body and brain to rapidly de-imprint these old cell traumas, re-imprinting with positive,healthy information. This allows for better and more efficient rehabilitation of injuries fromsports or surgery than traditional methods of therapy.
According to Dr. DeOrio, studies have shown that a mere 12 minutes of training on a WBV plate is equal to a 1.5-hour workout with weights. And since it’s accomplished with little amount of stress to your joints, tendons and ligaments, it can be a very good therapy regimen if you’ve suffered injuries, if you’re elderly, or have disease conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis, which would normally limit your fitness program.