Exercise, aside from a balanced diet, is key to living a healthy life. But as we age, adding physical activity to our routine eventually become a challenge. Thankfully, there are vibration machine exercises that suit even the elderly.
Seniors and Exercise
Did you know that Australia ranks fifth among developed countries for having a high life expectancy? Evidence even suggests that by 2050, there will be about 50,000 centenarians in the country. These further emphasise the role of exercise in our daily lives.
According to Australian guidelines, adults age 65 and older need to do moderate-intensity exercises, like walking or swimming, for 30 minutes. But in time, doing these activities is more taxing than beneficial. In that case, we need equally good exercises for seniors that guarantee cardiovascular health and safety.
Beneficial Effects of Vibration Machine Exercises
Whole-body vibration therapy is an efficient type of exercise, especially among the ageing population. Here are some of its health benefits.
Stress-free muscle strengthening
As we grow older, our muscles and bones weaken, making strength training essential. Younger adults can counter these with weightlifting and similar exercises. But seniors are likely to injure themselves when doing conventional workouts. They’re even harder to do when you already have pre-existing health conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia.
Whole-body vibration machine exercises, on the other hand, can strengthen the body without hurting the joints. Performing exercises with no vibration tends to heighten stress hormones among the elderly. A vibrating platform is then one way to address this. Prevention of soreness after exercise also motivates the elders to work out regularly.
Enhanced protection against osteoporosis
It is easier for older people to contract all sorts of diseases. One of which is osteoporosis, where there is a significant loss of bone mass. This condition makes the bones too weak or brittle to withstand even minor bumps or stresses.
There are medications available to treat osteoporosis or reduce bone loss and fracture risks. But doing vibration machine exercises also shows promise in fighting the disease. Research findings showed that whole-body vibration improves bone mineral density, particularly in the lumbar spine and hips. In a 2016 study, researchers also concluded that vibration exercise is a viable non-drug therapy for managing osteoporosis among postmenopausal women.
Improved body balance and stability
When older adults lose their balance, they are more prone to falls, fractures and lengthy rehabilitation. Worse, they become less independent, making them feel helpless and depressed.
Whole-body vibration training is one way to avoid these physical and mental issues. As your body attempts to stay upright on the vibrating platform, your leg muscles work and change their structure. With a strengthened lower extremity, you gain more control over your body.
Previous studies support this outcome. For instance, a study in 2014 suggested that long-term vibration therapy can enhance stability and reduce postural sway. Moreover, researchers explained how this type of exercise reduces fall risk and improves the quality of life or nursing home residents.
Reduced back pains and better immunity
While back pains among the elderly are often due to pre-existing health conditions, reduced activity or prolonged sitting may also be probable causes. By balancing on a vibrating machine, older adults get to improve their posture, strengthen the muscles and, eventually, reduce lower back pains.
The release of the relaxing hormone endorphin during vibration exercise is also a contributing factor. This hormone brings pain and stress levels down, making seniors more active and productive. Transmission of vibration also improves blood flow, which enhances oxygen and nutrient delivery throughout the body. Keeping white blood cells flowing also ensures immunity is up to combat all sorts of ailments.
Weight management support
In most cases, ageing and being active don’t mix. Having a sedentary lifestyle, however, often affects body weight and range of motion. But thanks to low-impact vibration machine exercises, older people can safely workout and burn calories without joint stress.
Now, you may find it hard to believe that standing on a vibrating platform can result in weight loss. But researchers did suggest that regular and proper use of vibration plates can help trim belly fat.
Muscles also develop and firm up as your body trains to balance itself on the vibration platform. Moreover, you can complement it with other forms of exercise to optimise caloric burn.
For instance, you can pair the equipment with resistance bands or weights to do biceps curls. You can also perform static and dynamic exercises like push-ups, lunges, crunches and squats with a vibration platform. These, of course, depend on individual health limits, so make sure to follow these fitness tips for the elderly before working out.
Exercise for All Ages
Vibration machines provide excellent health benefits no matter your age group. But for senior adults, they are a safe alternative to traditional exercises. And while vibration training may not result in significant weight loss or muscle development, its positive effects keep the elderly healthy, agile and youthful.
The best part is, you don’t have to go to the gym to reap its rewards. Keen to start your vibration exercise regimen at home? Check out this list of the best vibration machines in Australia!