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Benefits of whole body vibration in adults with metabolic syndrome

20th October 2016
Benefits of whole body vibration in adults with metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which can be controlled, and others that can’t be influenced. Overweight and obesity for example or an inactive lifestyle and unhealthy blood sugar levels are some of the potential factors that contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome that can be influenced, but aging, genetics, and your family history cannot be prevented or controlled.

Some conditions, like high blood pressure, inflammatory diseases, and excessive blood clotting, are more likely to be found in people with metabolic syndrome, but it’s not clear whether these favors or are caused by the syndrome. Also, gallstones, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and breathing problems like sleep apnea may be connected to metabolic syndrome.

These causes can act altogether, leading to the typical collection of symptoms: increased blood sugar levels and blood pressure, accumulation of excess body fat around the waist, increased levels of cholesterol, thirst and urination, fatigue and blurred vision, increased waist circumference.

Although having one of these symptoms doesn’t automatically mean that you have metabolic syndrome if you are diagnosed with more than three of these manifestations, or increased triglycerides levels, eye problems, impaired kidney function, or cardiovascular problems, you may be suffering from metabolic syndrome as well.

These health problems can be prevented by staying active and practicing physical exercises daily, as well as by keeping blood sugar levels under control and watching your waist circumference.

Whole body vibration exercises can help with all these aspects, being a form of physical activity with proven effectiveness in preventing the accumulation of excess fat in the core area, as well as in regulating the levels of blood glucose and helping one maintain a strong and healthy body.

Whole body vibration for people with metabolic syndrome

A study published in the journal of Rehabilitation Research and Practice, by Brazilian scientists, showed that training on an oscillating vibration machine at low to medium frequencies can increase flexibility in patients with metabolic syndrome, being a safe and time-efficient alternative to conventional workouts for this group of people.

For this study, the participants exercised at an initial frequency of 5Hz. The vibration bouts lasted for 1 minute, and amplitude varied between 2 mm and 7 mm. Several rounds of WBV movements (standing or sitting) were performed, the frequency increasing with one Hz in each round, until it reached 14Hz.

In people with this syndrome, flexibility, and overall physical performance tend to decrease as a result of the sedentary lifestyle, so although this study isn’t the only research paper to prove the efficiency of vibration exercises in improving flexibility, it is still an important one for metabolic syndrome patients.

Although not all mechanisms that lead to the improvement of flexibility in patients with metabolic syndrome are understood, it is believed that the suppression of the central nervous system and the decrease in pain sensation and muscular stiffness may be involved in the favorable effect of WBV.

Vibration exercises activate the muscles in a way that induces improvements in strength and power performance, the results being similar to those observed with strength training. It can therefore be a good solution for people with metabolic syndrome who are looking to get more active and live a healthier life but can’t practice conventional exercises.

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