As we get older, many of us no longer walk or move around like we used to. The partial explanation for this is inevitable obsolescence. Many conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, enlarged bones, and osteoporosis, can make exercise more difficult.
People with such conditions are often asked to exercise more. After all, this would strengthen their muscles and bones. But for someone who has difficulty moving, it is nearly impossible to move around so much that improvement will occur. That’s why scientists have a simple but ground-breaking solution: standing on a vibrating plate.
During this body vibration training, you can stand, sit or lie on a vibrating surface and at the same time perform different strength or balance exercises. The device vibrates at different frequencies ranging from ten to forty hertz.
The vibrating surface stimulates the muscles, causing them to contract and relax. Sometimes this happens up to 60 times per second. This muscle stimulation makes training more effective.
Body vibration training is becoming more and more popular because it is easier than classic training. People who can’t train normally can get the same benefits as people who exercise regularly. For people who exercise regularly, a vibration plate can also have additional health benefits, such as improved strength and stability.
Body vibration training may improve physical condition as classic sports. Research shows that it improves muscle and bone quality, and increases bone mineral. The communication between the muscles and the nervous system also improves. In general, the bones and muscles become stronger which reduces the risk of falls and fractures. Even body shaking can completely prevent conditions such as sarcopenia and loss of muscle mass and function.
improve physical function
Improving physical function through body vibration training can help in various conditions.
Implementing body vibration training in your regular exercise routine will improve your fitness if it is reduced with age. One study showed that the physical function of people who did not exercise regularly was improved. Fifteen minutes of body vibration training three times a week should actually be effective. Improvements remained measurable for up to 12 months after the end of the study. Physical function deteriorated in people who did not practice body vibration training.
Body vibration training can also help people with neurological disorders that make movement difficult. Think Parkinson’s disease, MS, a cerebral infarction, or a spinal cord injury.
The connections between our muscles and our brain are likely to strengthen, leading to better communication. Motor function and proprioception (the ability to feel movement) may also improve.
Body vibration training can also provide a solution to prevent or improve osteoporosis. The vibrations create an electrical charge in the bones and increase their mineral density. New bone cells can even be created. Together, these improve muscle strength and physical function.
Since not all studies agree on the positive effect of body vibration training on osteoporosis, more research is needed.
While body vibration training has a lot of potential, there are also some limitations.
No study has reported negative effects of vibration training. So it is believed to be safe. However, the training is not recommended for people with pacemakers, pregnant women, people with broken bones and people with artificial hips or knees.
There is currently little information on the long-term effects of repetitive training on body vibration, especially when it comes to vibrations greater than ninety hertz. We know from research that people who are exposed to high vibrations for long periods (such as construction workers) sometimes develop neuromuscular or skeletal problems. Therefore, it is important to verify the safety of high-frequency and long-term body vibration training. But since most courses are short and have frequencies below ninety hertz, it is likely safe.
Another limitation to body vibration training is that it is used less than necessary. This may be because medical staff are not aware of the benefits, or because people do not have access to the device.
For healthy people, body vibration training is not a substitute for traditional exercise, but for people who have difficulty moving, body vibration training can provide the same benefits as exercise. Current research suggests fifteen minutes of body vibration training three times a week. With this schedule, everyone should notice a sufficient improvement in physical function within six weeks.
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