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Whole body vibration exercises have beneficial effects on circulation

01st July 2015
wbv beneficial effects circulation

Peripheral vascular disease can occur in people who have sedentary jobs or spend several hours sitting, but can also be caused by the accumulation of fatty substances on the walls of the blood vessels in legs. In people affected by this condition, diet and exercise can help in restoring the healthy blood flow, supporting the oxygenation and delivery of nutrients to cells and tissues in the lower body.

Still, if you’re not into conventional exercise or if you suffer from certain ailments that prevent you from engaging in regular physical activities, you can improve your circulation and maintain the health of your cardiovascular system by practicing whole body vibration exercises.

Training on a vibration machine supports circulation


All forms of physical activity are beneficial for stimulating the blood flow, as they cause muscle contractions and these lead further to contractions of the smooth muscles found in the walls of blood vessels. Along with the heart, which pushes the blood through the blood vessels, the contractions of these tiny vessels contribute to a healthy blood flow.

Whole body vibration works in the same manner as conventional exercises, causing the muscles to contract and supporting the blood and lymph circulation.

A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Athletic Training by American scientists reviewed the results obtained in 10 studies that investigated the effects of whole body vibration training on peripheral blood flow and muscle oxygenation in healthy adults. Results showed that although WBV didn’t influence muscle oxygenation overall, it did increase peripheral blood flow.

Another paper published in the Journal of diabetes science and technology showed that whole body vibration exercises can be successfully and safely used by diabetic patients for improving blood flow in the lower body, while decreasing the risk of leg ulcers and other diabetes complications.

Hyperglycemia affects the composition of blood as well as the oxygenation of cells, and can result in reduced circulation and nerve ischemia. Patients with diabetes often suffer from circulation problems that prevent them from practicing traditional cardio or strength exercises, but this study showed that low-frequency, low-amplitude vibration training significantly increases the blood flow in the lower limbs without causing any side effects.

Similar results were obtained by Spanish researchers, who published their study in the European journal of applied physiology. They investigated the effects of vibration training on leg blood flow and adiposity in patients with type 2 diabetes, the study involving 40 patients who performed vibration workouts for 12 weeks.

After this time interval, the body composition, heart rate and blood flow were measured, results showing significant improvements in leg blood flow and decreases in body weight, waist circumference and body fat in the whole body vibration group. This study proves that vibration exercises are beneficial for diabetes sufferers not only because they improve the circulation of blood but also because they help in managing body weight and reducing the risk of obesity. In diabetes sufferers, obesity is one of the culprits behind poor blood circulation.

Those who are looking to improve blood flow in the upper body can also benefit from vibration exercises, American scientists showing that WBV training can enhance skin blood flow in the arms. 18 subjects were involved in this study that used two different vibration frequencies: 30Hz and 50Hz. Participants performed 10 minutes of passive vibration training, followed by 15 minutes of recovery.

Results showed that both frequencies produced significant improvements in skin blood flow within the first 4 minutes of vibration, peak values being obtained by the fifth minute. The 50Hz frequency caused a more rapid increase and did not result in vasoconstriction during the recovery phase, but overall the two frequencies led to similar results.

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