Shake It Off: Could Vibrating Your Way to Health Trim Belly Fat and Tame Blood Sugar?

Remember those quirky vintage ads from the 1950s featuring a smiling model strapped to a vibrating belt exercise machine? Well, it seems the concept of using vibration for weight loss is actually valid and forms part of the increasingly popular trend called whole body vibration, which not only yields impressive results but offers additional surprising health benefits.

The benefits of whole body vibration

Whole body vibration is achieved through using a device to make your entire body vibrate. Nowadays, you’ll find small platforms, vibrating plates, and treadmills that all create this whole body vibration effect. These devices have become more common over the past few years as research highlights their various benefits.

One recent study from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University discovered that whole body vibration can reduce body fat and insulin resistance, and even improve muscle and bone strength in mice prone to obesity and diabetes.

In this study, researchers had some mice exercise on a treadmill daily for three months, while others used a vibrating platform for the same amount of time. Both groups experienced similar benefits in terms of insulin resistance, belly fat, weight gain, and liver fat. The mice also had increased levels of osteocalcin, a protein made by bone-producing cells that appear to impact blood sugar control by prompting the pancreas to produce more insulin. More osteocalcin means stronger bones.

Now, it’s important to note that this study was conducted on mice; however, human studies have shown that whole body vibration can enhance muscle and bone strength in people with cerebral palsy, decrease pain and fatigue in women with fibromyalgia, and improve strength and mobility in women with multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, one study found that whole body vibration improves irisin levels in women without prior exercise training. Irisin is an essential hormone that can transform unhealthy white fat into beneficial brown fat, aiding weight loss and calorie burning.

Getting started with whole body vibration

There are two ways you can incorporate whole body vibration into your life for your benefit:

  1. Exercise on a vibration device: This method helps boost the benefits of your exercise routine, especially when you’re pressed for time and can only manage a short workout session. Some believe that 15 minutes of exercise on a whole body vibration device is equivalent to an hour-long workout without one, although no scientific research has been conducted to verify this.

  2. Replace exercise with whole body vibration: This option is ideal for those with health problems or mobility restrictions that limit their ability to exercise. Of course, even if you’re in good shape, you might experience days where you just can’t motivate yourself to work out. If that’s the case, whole body vibration is better than no movement at all.

When it comes to whole body vibration, you’ll need to make a small investment. Devices range in price from around $100 to over $2,000. If you want the benefits without breaking the bank, choose a more affordable option (ensuring it has good online reviews).

However, keep in mind that whole body vibration is not a complete substitute for exercise. While its benefits are impressive and comparable to physical activity, nothing can match the mental and physical advantages of an invigorating run or walk on a beautiful day. On a rainy evening or after a tough day at work, however, 15 minutes on the whole body vibrator could be just what you need.