Friday, September 26, 2008


Exercise is the surest way to try reducing body mass and combined with negative net intake of calories can be a life time option for health concerned citizen to keep diseases at bay. In an earlier piece in this blog mention was made about the work going on to explore the possibility of using a safe pill that will help those unable to take the strain of physical exercise but still need to reduce weight. Now comes another interesting news that there is a possibility that people with normal health can still manage weight loss without too much moving. The tread mill approach which made it possible for weight watchers to burn calories with out actually jogging or walking or any strenuous exercise is very popular with many people having access to them at home or nearby gymnasium. But standing on a tread mill still calls for limb movements which require some efforts.
Scientists at Stony Brook University in the US found that sitting on a buzzing platform for 15 minutes, vibrating it @90 times per second, accelerating up and down at 20% strength of earth's gravitational pull and continuing it for 15 weeks caused a weight loss of 27%. Of course this was not a human experiment and subjects were rats. Still it is difficult to ignore these findings. Scientists at Oregon State University, again the US, confirmed essentially same results with 7 month old rats and reported lower fat percentage in them after 12 weeks while there was no change in the lean muscle mass. University of Idaho scientists added another dimension to this developments by claiming that whole body vibration increased the bone density in women while reducing bone loss in hips and spine. There is along way to go before these tentative scientific findings are replicated in human beings through sound clinical trials by reputed organizations.
Whole Body Vibration (WBV) concept have several takers, especially older adults because it is claimed to be more effective in activating muscle fibers than that achieved by regular exercise regimes. The equipment just like a platform balance, available now in the market, can support a person and it is capable of sending vibratory impulses through the feet and into the rest of the body. Relaxing chairs which can be found in Air Port lounges and other places where people congregate on coin operated mode of working are already popular as the vibration generated helps to boost the blood circulation through out the body including the brain but how far they are effective in weight reduction is not clear.
30 minutes Ballroom dancing is known to burn 103-189 calories for a 65 kg adult while over 200 calories are burned during ballet and aerobic dancing. Faster pace of dancing kicks in anaerobic system of fat burning while slower movements initiate aerobic system in the body. Jogging and walking most commonly adopted by many people can burn as much as 238 calories in 30 minutes.       
It is scary to imagine young adults in their prime of life going in for the easy path of maintaining the weight through WBV machines in stead of active exercise like walking, jogging and others involving movement of all body parts because WBV will not ensure healthy joints which is possible only by active exercise regimes. It may be prudent to insist on the manufacturers of WBV machines to include a warning that "regular physical exercise is the best way to be healthy" to prevent emergence of a WBV society hardly able to move or walk, let alone do heavy jobs requiring not only strong muscles but also sound joints.

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