Most of us would never mix relaxation with exercise. Namely, sitting at home, chewing on some snacks and watching the TV program enjoying the comfort of your chair is not exactly something we refer to as being physically active.
However, some fitness experts claim that, once you are in possession of the adequate equipment, you do not have to move your body a single inch and you will be exercising nevertheless. Naturally, a vast majority of expert refuse to believe in such theories, claiming that these have little success in a reallife.
Regardless, passive exercising has become a common trend in the modern times. If you are interested to learn more about this form of physical activity and the effects behind it, read on.
What are Passive Exercises?
There are many forms of passive exercising, being based on numerous different kinds of exercise equipment which does not require us to move at all. One of the most common types of this form of exercising and fitness is, of course, the full body vibration.
This exercise plan is also called the Power Plate exercise, being initially used for physical preparations of Russian astronauts. Later, however, it has spread all over Europe and Asia, eventually reaching the US too.
The main principles behind this form of passive exercising are standing on a special platform with your knees bent at about 30 degrees. While maintaining this position, the ground beneath you will vibrate 30 times in a single second, making our body believe that we are actually falling, even though we are standing still, with both feet on the ground.
Due to this alertness of our body, it triggers rapid muscular contractions which increases our blood circulation, boosts the strength of the muscles in our body and the flexibility of our joints etc. This form of passive exercising, therefore, boosts the range of motion we have, while improving our core muscle strength and stability, boosting our bone density and helping us recover from any injuries faster.
However, according to those who promote this form of exercise, whole-body vibration also reduces the stress hormone production in our body, while increasing the production of the HGH levels. Finally, passive exercising of this type increases the activity of our lymphatic system.
Due to all these benefits, the whole-body vibration exercising should prevent worsening of the conditions such as MS, Parkinson's and similar, while, at the same time, making it possible for these people to enjoy physical activity without moving.
As for the expert's view on all these words of praise, some have agreed with a number of the above mentioned claims, especially when it comes to the increase of the bone density. Nevertheless, experts claim that this form of exercising cannot possibly lead to weight loss or cellulite disappearance. Medically, these benefits cannot be proven and are, hence, considered impossible.
We should bear in mind that, currently, marketing campaigns are way ahead of actual scientific researches of the methods involved in the passive exercising.
Nevertheless, a study was carried out, resulting in proof that 90 postmenopausal women have increased their bone density for about 1% by using the Power Plate for 30 minutes, three times a week, over the course of six months.
Are They Really Helpful?
Apart from the Power Plate devices, chi machines are also a form of passive exercising, involving you standing on a vibrating box, sending the vibrations all over your body, from the feet up. This device is advertised as one being capable of boosting a person's metabolism, remove excessive weight, increase a person's energy levels and promoting cell oxygenation. Moreover, the chi machine is claimed to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system.
Health experts claim that the chi machine does nothing more than stimulating an increase in blood circulation levels. Thus, it is not capable of presenting a total replacement for actual exercising in any possible way.
Finally, when we consider the famous exercise belts from the 1950s, these too were advertised as powerful tools for achieving toned, ripped muscles, especially in the abdominal area. The models appearing in the commercial showed off their brilliant body figures, claiming how this was achieved through passive exercising on the machines moving the body tissue with the belts, sending electric signals occasionally, in order to stimulate muscle contractions.
Yet, these methods have been proven ineffective and many companies producing such devices had to spend a total of $5 million in order to settle the charges filed againstthem.
All in all, the benefit behind the passive exercising is something that needs to be experienced individually. Namely, you can either listen to the marketing campaigns advertising the products and presenting them as excellent, or trust the scientific experts who rebuke these claims, presenting them as medically impossible.
One is for sure – passive exercising can have certain benefits for the health of those who use them. However, these benefits are not even close to those which are promised through the advertisement you see on the TV.