Mobility Issues? Start Getting In Shape With The Good Vibes Of WBVT
If physical limitation, including excess weight makes getting into a regular exercise routine difficult, engaging in Whole Body Vibrational Training (WBVT) might help.
WBVT can be either a passive or active form of exercise. Users sit, stand, perform poses, or active exercises on a platform that rapidly vibrates.
Simply standing on a vibrating plate or platform causes our muscles to contract reflexively, and make continuous micro adjustments. The up-and-down vibrational movements enhance muscle tone, while left-to right, and front-to-back movements increase balance and coordination.
A Way To Start Exercising
Recently, a study was done to determine the benefits of WBVT for severely overweight individuals with diabetes who might have difficulty exercising. For four months researchers put obese mice with diabetes on either a 45 minute per day treadmill routine, or had them stand on a vibrating platform for 20 minutes daily.
The research result showed that whole-body vibration may be equally effective as exercise for reducing some of the negative effects of obesity and diabetes—though exercise is the still the best option for overall health and weight loss. Earlier research outcomes on WBVT were mixed, but several showed that vibration may help with diabetes related issues by increasing flexibility, improving circulation, helping with visceral fat loss, balance, and pain reduction.
“Standing on a vibrating platform for 5, 10, 15 minutes can actually make cells stronger, maybe help [people] lose a little weight, and get them better prepared to eventually start exercising,” says Pete McCall, exercise physiologist, American Council on Exercise.
Using a vibrating plate is considered safe for most of us, according to the American Council on Exercise, but WBVT should be avoided by those with electronic implants (e.g., pacemakers), people with histories of seizure, thrombosis, and (or) tumors, and pregnant women.
WBVT should not be considered a magic bullet, or an exercise replacement. It can help individuals with mobility issues get started with weight loss, strengthening, and toning, but simply sitting or standing on a platform will never provide the cardiovascular, or strengthening benefits of active exercises.
Anyone who has been sedentary, or has chronic health conditions should consult with their doctor before trying WBVT.
Picking A Platform
Already in-shape individuals wanting to add another dimension to their exercise regimens might also want to engage in WBVT. Doing a variety of exercises on or with a vibrational plate reportedly enhances workout benefits.
Many gyms have vibrational platforms that members can use. Another option is to purchase a personal vibrational plate, but be aware there are many devices of both high and low quality on the market.
Some platforms offer only a side-to-side motion; they will not provide the benefits of a two-motor system that generates “3-D” vibrations (up-down, left-right, front-back). A high quality device can cost around $2,000, give or take a few hundred. Shoppers should research what’s out there to avoid WBVT disappointment.