The older we get our bodies begin to adapt and change. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that we should change and adapt our fitness routines to suit our bodies capabilities. Strength and endurance exercises are great for building bone density, but it’s not always the best for ageing joints given the stress it can cause.
Thankfully, a piece of gym equipment can provide ageing bodies a solution – the vibration plate. These are low impact which means they don’t put stress on joints while in use. Their pros and cons for exercise will be discussed here.
What is a vibration plate?
A vibration plate is a versatile piece of fitness equipment. The main benefit is that it’s a great choice for older demographics and those with disabilities and conditions that prevent someone from participating in a regular strength programme.
A vibration plate can be combined with exercises like the plank, sit ups and press ups. For this, you simply use the vibration plate as a support platform. Otherwise, the standard way of using a vibration plate is to either sit or stand on the machine. The plate then vibrates, with multiple vibration speeds to choose from.
The vibrations emit energy throughout the body which causes your body to go into what’s known as, a stretch reflex. This activates the muscle spindles which cause your muscles to contract and relax. With the speed of vibration, these contractions happen multiple times per minute, making you feel like you’ve had a good workout in minimal time.
Due to vibration plates having multiple vibration speeds and programmes to choose from, you can tailor their use to suit your body and needs, whether you are new to exercise or a fitness fanatic.
Vibration plates are not suited to everyone, depending on whether you suffer with certain health conditions. Here are some examples of health conditions which mean you’d have to think twice about using one:
- Pacemaker or ICD
- Acute Thrombosis
- Hip or knee replacements
- Operation recovery
- Cardiovascular disease
Using a vibration plate can also be harmful on the spine if use very frequently, so it’s often advised to use a vibration plate as part of a holistic exercise program.
For best practice, it’s best to consult your doctor before using one if you suffer with health conditions that may put you at risk. Plus, it’s best to limit your use of a vibration plate to 15-20 minutes a time.
Despite the risks, there are plenty of benefits to using a vibration plate. If used properly, they can improve weight loss as the stretch reflex can help reduce harmful fats between the organs. Another way they support weight loss is by regulating stress hormone levels, cortisol, which is often responsible for weight gain.
Vibration plates can also help increase blood flow through the body which means vital oxygen supplies and nutrients can get to important places, leading to better immunity and overall health.
The way vibration plates effect the body also means it can improve back pain symptoms, reduce bone loss, and improve strength and balance in older adults.
In conclusion, choosing to use a vibration plate comes down to your personal needs and individual differences. If you do have any underlying conditions that a vibration plate could negatively impact, it’s best to speak with a health professional or GP.