Unless one is a long-term exercise enthusiast as we get older the prospect of lifting weights at a gym for an hour a few times a week becomes less attractive, even when we know that we need to exercise to lose fat – or regain some youthful muscle.
Even life-long exercise junkies, like myself, can experience an event, like a serious injury that requires surgery, to keep us away from the gym long enough that we lose our enthusiasm for it. This is especially true as we grow older and less interested in social superficialities.
Gyms are like high schools. Depending on the fabric of the gym’s population there are generally several different echelons of regulars, from the average to the bodybuilders. At the “top” are the guys that most likely have used steroids for years to achieve their magazine cover physiques. They have genetics in their favor and they’ve “sinned” in maximizing their physique with synthetic assistance. There are also the genetic elite.
We also find the aerobics crowd. These people are tuned in to being healthy and staying lean. Good deal! However, if one has an injury that prevents one from using all the running, pushing and pulling machines what does one do?
An easy and, in many ways, superior answer is found in whole body vibration machines, such as the original Power Plate and other versions of vibrating machines that a person stands on while the Power Plate (or other whole body vibration machine) vibrates in as many as three different directions at once.
Postmenopausal Women – Vibration Machine Improves Bone Density, Reduces Pain in Osteoporosis
The vibrations underfoot cause involuntary muscle contractions in the whole body. Muscles respond to the vibrations as well as ligaments, tendon and even bones. Studies show that postmenopausal women can improve bone density, better than walking, when a whole body vibration machine is used appropriately.
But most surprising to me was to find studies that showed that postmenopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis experienced less pain when they are guided on the best use of whole body vibration machines.
One comprehensive study said, “Vibration training can bring success in treating pain resulting from osteoporosis and it increases physical fitness. Increasing muscle strength, neuromuscular coordination and balance, reducing the risk of falls… that often result… in fractures.”
So appropriately considered consistent use of a platform machine may do wonders for postmenopausal women that are experiencing osteoporosis and pains that can result. This is something that one should ask of one’s doctor or physical therapist.
Vibration Machine Surprisingly Beneficial For Rheumatoid Arthritis
As I was almost finished writing this article I found myself waking after falling asleep in my chair for a half an hour and realized that I had not looked at how vibrational therapy might affect arthritis. (Funny how naps can cause light bulbs to turn on in one’s mind.) I immediately stumbled on a study published in an article in the “controversial” journal PLoS One, entitled, “In Patients with Established RA [Rheumatoid Arthritis], Positive Effects of a Randomised Three Month WBV Therapy Intervention on Functional Ability, Bone Mineral Density and Fatigue Are Sustained for up to Six Months.”
The study concluded that whole body vibrational therapy can improve functional ability and fatigue levels and can also help to preserve bone strength in the hip in females with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the effects endured for six months after they stopped. Overall BMD was improved in the vibration machine group compared to the control group. The vibration group also reported an improvement in fatigue levels, which was not seen in the control group.
This study concluded that whole-body vibration machine therapy “…can improve functional ability and fatigue levels and can also help to preserve bone strength in the hip in females with RA.”
Prudence dictates that anyone who is addressing rheumatoid arthritis should have a knowledgeable medical doctor or physical therapist guide them in using a whole-body vibration therapy machine to prevent potential problems while gaining the maximum benefits possible. It may require only having one comprehensive learning session with the guidance of a healthcare professional. But it is wisest to get professional guidance before one begins.
Personal Use – Less Time = More Gain With Whole-Body Vibration
I generally stand and exercise on a whole body vibration machine for between four and ten minutes at a time. Often four minutes on a vibration machine doing simple slow squats can cause a surprising feeling that one has exercised for far longer than four minutes.
A vibration machine can almost help you exercise the whole body, even if all you do is stand on one and hold onto the handles. For someone that has significant problems with movement, such as one that has multiple sclerosis, if your doctor approves it and you are given instructions about how to use it by a healthcare professional, a platform machine can change your life.
Add some exercise movement to it, like gently squatting down to where the top of the legs are parallel to the ground for a minute or even less and one can feel that not only our legs but other muscles in our bodies got a workout.
Vibration Platform Lowers Blood Pressure, Improves Muscle
In fact, published studies show that doing mild exercises on a body vibration machine can counter the muscle loss and arterial stiffness that results in high blood pressure as we grow older. Imagine, just standing on a whole body platform machine and holding the hand rails causing improvements in bone density, muscle, ligament and tendon tissues and even decreasing blood pressure.
Vibration machines are so effective that virtually all training centers for elite and professional athletes have them. Vibration machines can be priced from $249.99 on Amazon for the Confidence Fitness Slim Full Body Vibration Platform Fitness Machine to much higher prices, such as $13,782.99 for a top of the line Power Plate Pro 7!
When I bought my vibration machine a few years ago, I decided on the V-Max Elite 7, which has been replaced by newer V-Max models. I shopped and shopped and decided that this was the best for my needs, while being somewhat in the cream of the crop, costing over $3,000, unnecessarily, I think now.
Since then I find that I don’t use all the zillions of programmable settings that it has and could just as well have purchased a less costly vibration platform, such as the Best Seller on Amazon, the Confidence Fitness Slim Full Body Vibration Platform Fitness Machine for $249.99. Ten minutes of exercising on this machine is equivalent to about 60 minutes of conventional exercise. My V-Max Elite 7 does provide more choices and intensity of oscillation. It does perform more functions, but the truth is I don’t use most of them. I have one setting that I use most of the time and the biggest change between workouts is how long I set the time for. Four minutes is usually minimum. Ten minutes is usually the maximum for one session. I may repeat a ten minute session, but one can easily overdue it on a vibration platform and the instructions warn not to go for too long.
Important: It is oscillating vibrations rather than linear vibrations that we want. We don’t want linear vibrations because this is basically just going up and down, like a jack-hammer. You can imagine that linear jack-hammer-like vibrations could increase spinal problems. However, most of the popular machines are oscillating because consumers know its best to seek oscillating machines.
The Confidence Fitness Slim Full Body Vibration Platform Fitness Machine is an oscillating machine and the great majority of consumer questions and reviews praise it. “My back and legs feel so much better and my blood pressure has dropped 20 points,” says William Harrington. This relatively inexpensive machine had 2063 reviews that gave it a 4.5 star rating. Pretty good for a machine that cost less than a tenth what the V-Max Elite 7 that I bought cost a few years back.
One can do everything from squats to ab exercises to lifting dumbells on it. The technological miracle is that the time one spends is equal to about 5 to 6 times as much time spent doing conventional exercises.
Vibration Platform Machines May Help You Lose Fat!
Some of the 2063 comments on Amazon about the Confidence Fitness Slim Full Body Vibration Platform Fitness Machine include those that came from buyers proclaiming how they easily lost body fat, love handles and even built some muscle.
V. Facaine said, “I purchased mine in 2014. I have before and after photos using this machine. It is amazing. Text me if you would like my entire strategy I went from 325 lbs to my current weight of 152 lbs with the help of this machine. My daughter used it as well. Check out my before and after photos. I feel amazing.”
Other quotes from buyers include, “My husband uses it too and that says a lot as he is immediately negative about any form of exercise.”
Losing fat comes up many times when reading consumer reports on vibration platform. It’s amazing how therapeutic this simple machine can be for people that are trying to lose weight. (Weight has a direct correlation with healthy longevity. This becomes a bigger problem as we get older. Using a whole body vibration platform with an appropriate diet is one way to neutralize that problem.)
Vibration Platform Offers a Muscle Workout, Without Effort
Another buyer on June 27, 2017, gave it five stars and said, “This whole body vibration machine is a great value for the money. It works as expected, and I use it almost every day. My leg muscles got a bit sore the first few times, so I know it was doing something when I started. Now, it just feels like a 10 minute jiggle massage – and for some unexplanable reason I really look forward to those 10 minutes. Maybe my lymph nodes are draining toxins; maybe my love handles are slowly disappearing; maybe my circulation is improving; maybe my muscles are just keeping in better shape. I don’t know, it’s too early to tell. I’ll have to visit YouTube and see what else I can do with this machine to get more out of it. For now, I’m perfectly satisfied with the whole body massage thing going on. (NOTE: Don’t exceed the 10 min./day recommendation. I did and had knee problems for about a week. Moderation…)”
There are many choices in whole body vibration machines. I’ve only presented a little of what is available. One can shop for days looking at all the different options. I suggest that one moderates how complicated we make purchasing one. As I said, I only use a fraction of the functions that the V-Max Elite 7 provides, so I really didn’t need to spend as much as I did when I bought it. Imagine what else some of that money could buy. So think in terms of what you really need when purchasing one. I find that I just need to be able to set it at a high level of intensity with a relatively high level of vibration, where I think that a lot of people would want less intensity than I do or perhaps want to be able to make more fine adjustments.
If you’re looking for a machine that is mid-way between the Confidence Fitness Slim Full Body Vibration Platform at $249.99 and the high-priced Power Plate, as shown above, the V-Max TRIO, for $2,188.00, has three vibratory modes, oscillation vibration, spiral vibration and dual motion and even more that can be programmed. I also like the foot pad, which is solid, like the older V-Max Elite 7 that I have. So, there are a range of options. Now you just need to consider how much you want to spend and perhaps what your doctor or physical therapist recommends.
To your healthiest longevity,
Disclaimer: This article is not to replace the advice of a qualified medical doctor or health care professional. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is for educational purposes only. Always consult with your medical doctor, health care practitioner, or physical therapist, hopefully one that is familiar with the published studies about whole body vibration machines, before embarking on the use of whole-body vibration machines.
At 65 years of age, Michael has been studying health and ageing for almost 50 years. After experiencing re-growth and darkening of his own hair, as confirmed by numerous friends, caused by experimentation with specific nutrients, he has also experienced a tremendous reduction in facial wrinkles because of the use of various nutritional supplements, biological peptides, botanicals and a specific whole foods diet. Michael further experienced tremendous improvements in his long-term and short-term memory with nootropics.