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article imageWhole body vibration matches regular exercise

By Tim Sandle     Apr 1, 2017 in Health
A form of exercise called whole-body vibration mimics the muscle and bone health benefits of regular exercise, based on animal studies. This less strenuous exercise regime involves person sitting, standing or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform.
With whole-body vibration, when a person (or in the case of the research, a rodent), comes into contact with the machine, as the machine vibrates it transmits energy to the body. This causes the muscles to contract and relax many times during each second. This muscle activity confers the same benefits are more strenuous exercise, such as an intense gym session or jogging.
The process enables anaerobic activity (that is the burning energy without oxygen, which is the opposite of cardio) and it might present an opportunity for those who find it difficult to take regular exercise.
The study involved the use of two sets of mice (males, aged five-weeks). One group was made up of normal mice; the second group consisted of mice bred to be genetically unresponsive to the hormone leptin. Leptin is a hormone which promotes feelings of fullness after eating (and this rendered the mice obese). The mice from these two groups were then subdivided into groups that took no exercise; a group given whole-body vibration treatment (20 minutes at a time at a frequency of 32 Hz with 0.5g acceleration each day); and a group allowed to exercise on a treadmill. These regimes went on for 12 weeks.
The study results showed that the obese mice showed similar benefits from whole-body vibration and treadmill exercising, and both lost weight compared with the group that did not exercise.
According to the lead researcher of the new study, Dr. Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence: "Our study is the first to show that whole-body vibration may be just as effective as exercise at combatting some of the negative consequences of obesity and diabetes.”
The academic adds: “While whole-body vibration did not fully address the defects in bone mass of the obese mice in our study, it did increase global bone formation, suggesting longer-term treatments could hold promise for preventing bone loss as well."
Overall the results are encouraging, however further research will be required using human subjects in order to fully understand the potential benefits. The research is published in the journal Endocrinology, under the heading “Whole-body Vibration Mimics the Metabolic Effects of Exercise in Male Leptin Receptor Deficient Mice.”
More about Exercise, whole body vibration, Gym, Obesity, Fitness
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