A few weeks ago, I had three different patients ask me about whole-body vibration exercise. Word is definitely getting around about this fantastic, less strenuous form of exercise. That's because it can mimic the muscle, bone, and metabolic benefits of regular exercise. And not only is it less strenuous, but it seems to work in half the time. Have I got your attention yet?
Whole-body vibration exercise consists of a person (or mouse) sitting, standing, or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform. When the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to the body, and the muscles contract and relax multiple times during each second. In this way, it mimics regular exercise. But the number of muscle contractions are many times more with vibration exercise than with regular exercise.
While there's a lot of evidence showing the amazing effects of whole-body vibration exercise, there has been virtually no direct comparisons with the metabolic effects of regular exercise. So which form of exercise is better? One group of researchers recently set out to perform a comparison.
To do the experiment, the researchers enlisted the help of a group of leptin-deficient mice. Leptin is a hormone that makes us feel full after eating. It also has an anti-diabetic effect. So, these mice are prone to overeat, gain weight, and develop diabetes. From a metabolic standpoint, although they are smaller and furrier, they are much like many Americans.
To conduct the study, the researchers divided the mice into three groups. One group was assigned to exercise on a treadmill for 45 minutes every day. A second group used a whole-body vibration plate for less than half that time — 20 minutes. And the third group got to relax on the couch all day. It took the researchers about a week to train the mice to use the exercise equipment. They measured the weights, muscle mass, fat mass, liver fat, and insulin sensitivity in all the mice. The study went on for three months. Here's what happened.
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As you can guess, there were no changes in the couch mice other than they got worse. On the other hand, both the regular exercise group and the whole-body vibration group showed the same levels of improvement across the board with a decrease in weight and fat mass, and an increase in muscle mass and insulin sensitivity. Both forms of exercise worked well. But whole-body exercise did it in less than half the time. According to the study's lead author, Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence, Ph.D., "Our study is the first to show that whole-body vibration may be just as effective as exercise at combating some of the negative consequences of obesity and diabetes." Here's the point.
Whether or not you are overweight or have diabetes, this study confirms what we already know. Whole-body vibration exercise not only works as well as regular exercise, it does it in less than half the time. It also has the advantage that it's less strenuous and much more suited for people who are older or who have disabilities, such as Parkinson's, weakness, or muscle/skeletal disorders.
So where can you get whole-body vibration equipment? There's only one brand I recommend. Power Plate is unquestionably the world leader in whole-body vibration exercise, and has been the gold standard for over 20 years. The optimal vibrational frequencies, amplitudes, and vibrational direction developed by Power Plate have been arrived at by countless hours of research. I bought mine a little over 10 years ago. And I can personally attest to its quality.
Due to the incredible forces used in whole-body vibration devices, they need to be very well made. They also need to be specifically designed for optimum effect. Power Plate makes the only whole-body vibration equipment that I know of that meets these criteria. No matter what kind of exercise equipment you buy, you can always buy something cheaper. But I find that the cheap stuff eventually breaks down, and doesn't deliver the best form of exercise as quality equipment. That's why I recommend Power Plate.
The Power Plate comes with a warranty that covers the materials and parts needed to repair, rebuild, or replace the equipment for two years and the cost of labor needed to repair or rebuild the equipment for one year. But most people never have to use the warranty. You can order Power Plate by calling toll free 888-303-4707. Make sure you give them savings code SVHA-0617 to get your special Second Opinion discount.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
McGee-Lawrence ME, Wenger KH, et al. Whole-body vibration mimics the metabolic effects of exercise in male leptin receptor deficient mice. Endocrinology. 2017 Mar 15.