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You want to stay healthy and keep fit, but it’s tough to find time to hit the gym in your busy schedule. For those of us with physical limitations, exercise can be tough. For people who don’t necessarily thrive on physical exertion, a whole body vibration machine can help you lose weight, keep fit, and get your exercise. But how safe and effective is it, really?
What Is The Body Vibration Machine?
Body vibration machine is a machine that works your muscles for you. In most cases, it involves standing on a plate, with knees bent at about 30 degree angle. The surface will vibrate at a rapid rate, on average about 30 times per second. This activates your “stress reflex” and causes extremely rapid muscle contractions. These muscle contractions work your muscles more effectively than you can do on your own.
How Does It Work?
According to experts, there are many benefits to a whole body vibration workout. Research suggests it helps with muscle strength, and with the right diet, can help with weight loss and muscle soreness. The best vibration machines can help with everything from back pain, physical strength, and even protect against bone loss. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic caution against using a vibration machine to replace exercise completely. There is no clear data to suggest it can replace a good cardio or strength training workout. However, regular short training sessions with body vibration machine can help you lose weight, increase flexibility and circulation, improve bone density and more.
How Often Should You Use A Vibration Machine?
Using a whole body vibration plate can be pretty intense if you’re not used to it. The science behind vibration plates involves activating a lot of involuntary muscles. Think about the reflex action that your doctor activates when he hammers your leg. Now imagine the effect 30x stronger, and up to 3,000 times a minute! Put it that way and it’s easy to see how a vibration machine can help you tone up and lose weight fast. But it’s also easy to see the dangers. It is recommended that you use the machine no more than 3 or 4 times a week. Your sessions should be between 10-30 minutes. Start on the low end, to ensure you avoid side effects. Remember not to wear shoes on the plate, so you don’t interfere with the intended vibration patterns.
When Should You Avoid A Body Vibration Machine?
Though they are generally considered very safe, it is important to use your machines according to the manufacturers instructions. Excessive use of vibration machines does come with certain side effects. These can include:
- Pressure on your spine
- Nerve damage
- Digestive problems
- Inner ear problems
Additionally, be aware that cheaper models of vibration plates may not vibrate within the acceptable safety range. You’ll want to get to know your machine and it’s capabilities before lengthening your workouts. Be aware that you should avoid whole b-ody vibration workouts if you suffer from the following conditions:
- Cardio-vascular disease
- Acute hernia
- Pacemaker, hip replacement, or other metal implants
- Recovering from surgery
If you’re not sure if whole body vibration workouts are right for you, get some advice from your doctor.
What To Look For In A Body Vibration Machine
If you’re looking to add vibration workouts to your at-home fitness routine, you’ll need to do some research to find the best vibration machine for your needs. A few considerations:
Consider the size of your workout space. Pay attention to the max user weight, as well as the weight of the machine itself. Some vibration plates also include wheels for easy storage.
Your price point is obviously an important consideration. On the low end, vibration plates can be around $150, while higher-end plates can be well over $500. Obviously, your price point is important, but you should research the brands you’re buying into. Lower-end machines can come with risks, such as inconsistent vibration patterns.
Type Of Vibrations
There are many types of vibration therapy. These include lineal, pivotal, high, medium and low energy, a variety of speeds, and various amplitudes. Some vibration plates have multiple vibration types, others stick to one speed, or one style vibration. Do your research to determine the effect you’re looking for, and the best vibration platform for your needs.
Apart from vibration speeds and types, some platforms come with advanced features. These can include everything from adjustable speeds and preset workouts, to MP3 ports, and a BMI calculator, to help you get the most out of your workout. Obviously, features can impact your price point. You’ll want to choose the body vibration machine that will help you keep your workout goals in mind.
The body vibration machines do a lot when they’re used appropriately. It’s important to avoid overuse to avoid unpleasant side effects. While you can’t rely on a whole body vibration platform to replace regular diet and exercise, when used 3 or 4 times a week as part of your fitness routine, it can tone your muscles, help with chronic pain, and improve circulation and overall health.