(Natural News) Obese postmenopausal women may improve their heart health by undergoing whole-body vibration training for at least eight weeks, according to a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Researchers in the U.S. reached this conclusion after analyzing the effect of an eight-week whole-body vibration exercise program on heart rate variability and blood pressure in obese postmenopausal women. While whole-body vibration training offers the same benefits as resistance training in postmenopausal women, it is much safer and gentler on the joints.
The U.S. researchers enrolled 25 obese postmenopausal women for the study and randomly assigned them to either a whole-body vibration training group or to a non-exercising control group. Those assigned to the whole-body vibration training group completed a supervised training thrice a week. Each training was composed of four static and four dynamic leg exercises with vertical vibration, progressing throughout the eight weeks. The researchers also measured the blood pressure and heart rate variability of the participants.
The results of the intervention showed that obese postmenopausal women who underwent whole-body vibration training for eight weeks experienced improvements in their heart rate variability and blood pressure.
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that whole-body vibration training is an effective exercise intervention for improving heart health in previously sedentary obese postmenopausal women.
More on whole-body vibration therapy
Whole-body vibration therapy is done by standing, sitting, lying, or doing exercises on specifically designed equipment that vibrates at relatively high frequencies. It is believed that these vibrations are transmitted to the body, causing muscles to contract and relax and ultimately improving muscle strength, coordination, and balance. In the long run, these muscle contractions would increase muscle mass and energy expenditure, resulting in better control of blood sugar levels. It is also believed that bone cells are sensitive to this vibration and respond by increasing bone density. This type of therapy was originally developed for athletes to improve the effectiveness of their training. Here are some evidence-based benefits of vibration therapy:
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Improves bone density and muscle strength: A review on vibration therapy’s effect on muscle strength and bone mass, published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, confirmed that vibration therapy can help enhance leg muscle strength in older adults. Studies published in the journals Current Osteoporosis Reports and Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity provided more promising evidence. The findings suggested that vibration therapy may help promote bone formation and improve bone strength, depending on the intensity of vibrations.
Prevents muscle pain: A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training revealed that whole-body vibration therapy may help protect against muscle soreness after exercise. (Related: Whole body vibration exercise, previously used for disease management, found to be effective at improving the physical condition of athletes as well.)
Benefits people with Parkinson’s disease: People suffering from Parkinson’s disease may find vibration therapy beneficial, according to a study published in the journal NeuroRehabilitation. The study showed that it may help reduce muscle tremors and rigidity.
While whole-body vibration therapy provides many health benefits, it also comes with some risks. It may cause lumbar injuries and severe back pain if the intensity of the vibrations is too high. It should also not be practiced by people who are taking blood thinning medications, those who have advanced diabetes, those who have a heart disease, and those who are pregnant.
Read more news stories and studies on the benefits of whole-body vibration exercise by going to AlternativeMedicine.news.