I've Been Using Vibration Plates for 20 Years, Here's Why. Hint: It's not about losing weight.
No, they don’t help you lose weight, but they do build bone and muscle strength
People always seem puzzled by vibration plate machines, at least that's what I've noticed at my local gym. They fiddle with the settings -- looking a little perplexed -- and then push the Start and either leap off with fright at the whole-body vibration sensation, or they stand and enjoy the experience.
But in either case, they rarely come back and even more rarely make the power plate a systematic part of their regular exercise regime. I can empathise with this as that initial whole-body vibration can actually be quite shocking, in the physical sense.
A study by Harvard Medical School found that the G-forces induced by commonly used whole-body vibration platforms can transmit forces into our brain which exceed ISO-2631 guidelines for safety - unless you flex your knees. (In fact, it is never wise to lock out your joints when using a vibration plate machine.)
So the nub of the problem in people not using the machines regularly is that they don't know how, when and why to use them.
Luckily for me, the gym keeps buying new machines to replace the old, and I keep using them.
Vibration plates can maintain and grow muscles, improve circulation, and the combination of these two benefits can improve bone strength - if you know how to use the machine. On the other hand, vibration machines are not effective for weight loss, and professional power plates are capable of transmitting excessive vibrations to the cranium.
The truth about power plate machines
Achieving success through consistency requires this universal strategy
When I write about the benefits of exercise, I often say consistency is king. But I'm wrong. People can turn up physically but not mentally - and that's a problem because they give up too quickly.
We need to understand that being consistent is not the strategy. Consistency is a tactic. In other words, consistency is about keeping on pedalling - strategy is about heading in the right direction.
Unexpectedly, consistency has a universal strategy.
This interests me because I've seen many people be very consistent in their actions yet at the end of the day not make progress. If they understood the universal strategy behind the habit of consistency, they could have succeeded.
Four common exercise lies to know if you want to live longer better. Use your brain
How to lower your body age
I train to lower my body age because at 72 I don't have much more time left to age! At the gym, I observe many over 50s who should be doing the same, but instead, they are doing things that will make them older.
One reason is that they don't know what else to do. Another is that they believe the myths perpetuated by the bro culture - and the young trainers.
I've been successful in lowering my body age substantially.
Even if you don’t need the motivation of running with music, research says it's worth trying
It's more than just emotionally satisfying
People who workout to the beat say they do it because they enjoy it more.
I don't do it because music distracts me from being fully body-aware. If you are like me, research says that we might be missing out.
So what's the deal with music and workouts - are the majority who listen the smart ones, and crushing their results thanks to their earbuds?
Breaking up with your warm-up? It's time to make up again - your muscles will love you
Like breaking up, warming up seems hard to do. At least that's my observation based on 20 years of going to the gym.
People seem to hate warming up as much as they hate stretching after a workout.
They just don't, or won't, do it.
They say that warming-up up is hard to do
Research reveals the best secret you did not know to add 2 years to your life - easier than you imagined
The French have always known it.
The scientists have long doubted it.
Nutritionists have gone for the latest political correctness.
People just kept doing what they wanted.
Although democracy often shows that the people can be wrong, in this case, they were right.
More gains in less time with this single-move whole-body workout
I've been training now for 20+ years, since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at 50.
I take it seriously.
Diabetes doesn't just kill you; it does it cruelly - slowly destroying your circulation. Amputations, kidney failure, blindness and dementia result from your capillaries slowly clagging up with excess sugar.
That's why I take exercise seriously as a means of managing my diabetes.
Fun training challenges to do with your kids in the park, here's six you can do today
If you're wanting to share some of the fitness results of your gym time with your kids, and do it outside, I have some simple but challenging exercises for you.
My ten-year-old daughter announced that she was going to enter the school cross-country, and asked me to train her.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do something outside with her and something physically challenging.
Here's the little program I made for our training. You'll find it fun to do outside with your kids, or just to do something different outside, which will challenge you. These exercises are simple, require no equipment, but give you a whole-body workout, and a good burst of cardio.
Last night was an unusual one for me. My usually painful right knee wasn't painful.
I've been scratching my head all day as to what I had changed, and I've only come up with one thing.
The results seem too immediate. Could this simple change be associated with my pain relief?
Hate stretching after workouts? Reduce your muscle aches with this smooth 5-minute alternative
Hate stretching? This alternative is just as good for your recovery
If you hate stretching after a workout, try this smoother alternative. It will get you the same recovery, and a bit more.
I get it, you're tired from the workout, and you don't feel like spending the extra time, and anyway, stretching isn't all that comfortable.
I'm a bit the opposite, as in before running I think "oh I guess I better spend the time warming up or I will regret it" - and I do the thing. After running, I'm OK with stretching as I appreciate the benefits it brings.
No doubt stretching after a workout is a good thing. But let's face it, people don't do it.
I have some good news for you. I can't give you back the time you will need to spend, but doing this will ease your muscle aches and its not discomforting - as stretching can be.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter