If you want to fight aging and stay younger longer, it helps to shake all over from head to toe.
I’m actually being serious here. Research now shows that standing on a vibrating platform, giving you what are called “whole body vibrations,” can reverse a significant amount of the ill effects of aging and make you physiologically younger.
The type of platform I’m talking about is readily available from various fitness companies. Studies demonstrate that standing on one of them for only about 20 minutes daily can improve organ function, make your bones and muscles stronger, improve your blood sugar and even take off body fat.
Sounds strange, but it’s true. . .
As Helpful as a Treadmill
According to lab studies at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, standing on a vibrating platform every day can produce the same benefits as walking or running on a treadmill. The proven benefits include shrinking body fat, protecting against insulin resistance, reinforcing bones and boosting muscle.
As the researchers found, three months of 20-minute daily vibrating sessions lessens the amount of inflammatory body fat you carry around your waist and improves the health of your liver. They also report that it increases the amount of osteocalcin circulating in your blood. That’s a protein that is manufactured by bone-producing cells known as osteoblasts.1
The advantage of having more osteocalcin? It helps to reinforce your skeletal structure, making bones less likely to fracture.
“Every time you walk or run or stand on a vibrating platform, your bones are experiencing sheer stress and that sheer stress can change how those metabolically relevant hormones get released,” says researcher Alexis M. Stranahan, a neuroscientist at the Medical College.
One result of more osteocalcin: Younger bones.
The osteocalcin circulating in your blood also boosts insulin production by the pancreas and “normalizes” the body’s use of blood sugar, keeping it from climbing too high.
Better Intestinal Bacteria
In lab tests, researchers have also found that whole body vibration can change gut bacteria in ways that reduce harmful inflammation in the digestive tract.2
In this research, which, admittedly, was done on animals, an analysis revealed that a beneficial intestinal bacterium call Alistipes was increased a whopping 17-fold. This microbe has been shown to produce a high level of what are called short chain fatty acids.
These specialized fatty acids can suppress potential inflammation that can damage the walls of the intestines and potentially lead to leaky gut. (Leaky gut occurs when gaps in the walls of the digestive tract allow toxic substances to enter the body.)
In addition, the vibrations increased immune cells called M2 macrophages that also work to hold down inflammation. And a similar increase occurred with an anti-inflammatory molecule called cytokine IL-10.
Other studies have focused on further anti-aging benefits of whole-body vibration:
- Tests in Brazil on women over the age of 65 have found that daily vibration sessions improve muscle strength and the body’s production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) – a substance that supports the health of the brain’s neurons.3
- Research on folks who are prediabetic or diabetic shows this therapy may reduce problems with frequent urination.4
- Studies in Asia demonstrate that vibration treatment may help with the healing process after a stroke. It may hasten the recovery of the ability to walk and cope with daily tasks.5
- Spanish researchers have found that vibration treatment may also help with fibromyalgia – improving balance and reducing fatigue and pain.6
Luckily, a vibrating platform is fairly inexpensive. They start at about $90, although the most durable platforms will run you a bit more.
This kind of relatively passive exercise has been around a long time, and research shows it has plenty of benefits. I believe that if you’re reluctant to go jogging or do some other form of exercise, whole body vibrations are a great way to help your body fight the aging process. And all you have to do is stand there and feel the vibe.