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Vibration Excersize Machines: What Are They and Do They Work?

First of all, the concept of vibration to help you lose weight is not a new one. Vibration machines have been around for decades. Dr. John Kellog (of corn flake fame) designed some of the earliest mechanical vibration massage machines. These “Vibro-Therapy” contraptions included a mechanical massage bed and a wooden vibrating chair which Kellog claimed could clear out the intestines, dissolve backaches and improve muscle tone.

Even though people think of vibrating belt machines as products of the 50’s, they were first introduced in 1928 by Dr. Kellog at his health facility in Michigan. Women wanting to lose weight hoped to vibrate their fat away. Vibrating belt machines became even more popular after World War II. Women put away their work clothes and tried to look more like the glamourous actresses of the times by shaking their fat off.

When vibration wasn’t enough, women turned to the next logical step: electric shock. The Relax-a-Cizor first introduced in 1949, promised to zap the fat off. More than 400,000 were sold before they were taken off the market in 1970 due to many unpleasant side effects.

Vibration type fitness machines have made a 21st Century comeback. Unlike the shaking belts of the 1950s, this time the vibration is focused on the entire body. Enter the Vibration Platform. The theory is that when you stand on the vibrating platform, high frequency vibration will coarse through your body. Your body’s natural response to this sort of vibrarion is to tense up. As all the muscles of the body contract together, tendons are thought to lengthen as blood flow to each of the muscles increases.

While there are definitely some benefits to a total body vibration platform, so far it has not been shown to help with weight loss, muscle tone, or body sculpting.

Ok, what about the benefits? Preliminary research has shown that for those with knee joint problems, low bone density or poor balance, standing on a vibrating platform while performing other upper body exercises may help with these problems. For those looking to improve their fitness level, it is possible to use free weights, resistance bands, and other light equipment while standing on the vibrating platform. The additional weight and concentration required by your body to maintain balance can help increase the benefits of other exercises.

The technology is new, so research is still coming in. The greatest downside to this technology is the cost. Entry level models often sell for $2,000 dollars. A better way to go, is to check out fitness facilities that have vibration platforms and give it a try! Shake it Up!!

30-Second Tip of Week:
This week’s assignment is to stay hydrated. I read a statistic that says from 60-80% of people are chronically dehydrated! Your body is about 70% water, so you can imagine the effect drinking a bit will have on your entire system – staying hydrated can improve your mood, make your skin shine, relieve pain, improve your digestion and so much more. So raise a glass of water – here’s to your Health!

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