Are you looking to lose weight and wondering “will a vibration machine help me to lose weight?” This is a very common question that we get asked by clients, especially those who may find it difficult to undertake other forms of exercise or who are looking for different ways to have a positive impact on weight loss.
What is a vibration machine/ whole body vibration training?
A vibration machine is a lightweight platform that a person stands on, which provides light resistance exercise from repeated oscillations of the platform. It was developed in Germany, mainly for older people, to improve bone mineral density, balance and quality of life. The machine can be programmed to varying levels of oscillation/intensity.
What effects can a vibration machine have on my body?
Vibration machines have been shown to be effective in increasing leg blood flow, muscle strength and balance in the elderly population compared with control groups undertaking no other forms of habitual exercise. The effects on bone mineral density are inconclusive, with different study designs offering different outcomes. Vibration therapy has been used in some rehabilitation settings in conjunction with other forms of exercise to improve overall function, particularly in the elderly population.
Can a vibration machine be used to assist weight loss?
Although there are isolated studies that have shown improvements in body composition in patients with type 2 diabetes and middle aged females after 12 weeks and 9 months respectively in conjunction with caloric restriction; systematic reviews of a large number of published studies from reputable sources undertaken in 2018 and 2019 have not shown vibration training to be consistently effective in helping people to lose weight.
The most recent systematic review in 2019 examined 7 studies that included 280 subjects who used three different types of vibration machine devices. The authors concluded that there were only insignificant effects on body fat percentage in these studies which were less than 6 months long. They concluded that further research with larger population numbers and duration were needed to further evaluate the effectiveness of vibration training.
Need help with an individualised exercise program for your ability and goals?
If you’d like to get some professional advice specific to your ability and goals, Book an appointment with one of our Exercise Physiologists today.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist & Credentialled Diabetes Educator.
As Exercise Physiologists we help people to manage a range of different health conditions, including overweight and obesity. We help people to set realistic goals and expectations, and provide them with strategies and solutions to assist them to improve their lifestyle, health and well-being. Over the years we have identified a number of common mistakes that people make when commencing a weight loss program. Here we list the top 3 mistakes.
Too much exercise too quickly/unrealistic expectations
When commencing any lifestyle change program it is important to set realistic goals, and this is especially important when setting exercise goals. It is crucial to set SMART goals, which you are pretty confident that you can achieve, initially with short time frames (1-2 weeks), checking in with yourself and ticking off your adherence to these goals frequently.
A common mistake that people make are being too ambitious with their exercise goal, setting the bar very high, and then finding their proposed goal/exercise program very difficult to stick to or achieve, and hence then “fall off the wagon”.
An example is someone who is currently not exercising at all, setting an initial exercise goal to walk for 60 minutes each day. Walking 60 minutes a day is a huge jump from not exercising at all, and could be setting the person up for failure. A stepped approach of commencing with 2-3 days a week of a much shorter walking time, and then increasing this by 10-20% each week is a more realistic goal, increasing chances of success.
It is also very important to physically write your goals down and refer to them often. This has been shown in studies to improve your chance of success.
Not planning or scheduling your proposed exercise
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Therefore, once you have set an exercise goal for the coming week, it is very important to plan when you will complete this goal. We often hear from our clients that they are “too busy”, or that “something came up”, or they just “didn’t get around to it.”
We need to schedule our exercise into our week, just as we book in and schedule our appointments with our doctor, our hairdresser or for servicing the car.
At the start of the week, sit down and review your calendar or diary for the coming week, and write your planned exercise into your diary at set days and times. This again relates back to writing your goals down, and helps to increase adherence to your program and your chance of success.
Measuring success only by the number on the scales
It’s very common to feel like you are not losing weight, particularly in the initial stages of your program, despite feeling that you are doing all the right things. But there are a number of factors which can affect the number on the scales for any given day and this should not be the only way that you measure your success.
The benefits of your program can be monitored in a number of ways, and improvements can be seen in your:
Improvements in any of the above factors show that your program is having a positive difference and can help keep you motivated to keep going. Don’t make the mistake of using body mass as your only measure of success.
Looking for more information to help you exercise for weight loss? See our articles here or book in with one of our Exercise Physiologists for a personalised program and individual support.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist & Credentialed Diabetes Educator
Are you finding it hard to lose weight? We understand that weight gain is a lot easier than weight loss for many, and that weight gain is a common problem over the Christmas season. Exercise Physiologists help many people just like you, to improve their weight and health choices so that a healthy lifestyle becomes a way of life, not a quick fix.
Here we discuss 5 top tips that you can start implementing today, to set you on the right path to success.
1. Set realistic goals and expectations
Don’t be too ambitious! Setting yourself up for success and not failure is important. You don’t want to feel discouraged in week one because you have not reached your first goal.
Set a SMART Goal, and then review your confidence and importance levels.
I want to walk 4 times for 30 minutes within the next 7 days.
Now rate your importance of achieving this, and also your confidence level in achieving this both out of 10, with 1 being “there is no way I can achieve this”, and 10 being “I am going to smash this out of the park!”
Are they above 6 out of 10? If yes, go for it, if no, then you may want to modify your goal to something a little bit more achievable, as chances are it may be too ambitious!
2. Create new habits
It’s a new year, so why not practice new healthy habits and/or try something different. You might find something new and exciting that works better for you.
Again, try not to be too ambitious and change everything at once. Choose one habit and then practice it until it becomes a new habit and part of your everyday lifestyle.
Example, I will pack a piece of fruit everyday to have for morning tea to have with my coffee, rather than having biscuits at work. It’s a small, but effective change to a healthier lifestyle.
3. Be NEAT
When it comes to weight loss, there are a few angles that we can target when trying to increase the amount of energy expended each day. We know planned exercise is important, but our Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, that is, the energy that we burn from undertaking all non exercise, sleeping or eating related activities is also very important, and often overlooked.
As you can appreciate, people who work on their feet, and are active in their jobs have a higher NEAT than those in office jobs. But, you can influence your NEAT by practicing small changes. This might include taking the stairs rather than the lift, standing, rather than sitting, walking around whilst talking on your mobile phone, walking meetings with colleagues, cleaning the house, walking to the shops. Be active as much as you can!
4. Phone a friend
Have you noticed that time flies when you’re having fun!! This can be the same with exercise. Rather than undertaking exercise alone, ask a friend to go with you, or pop in your headphones and talk on the phone to them whilst exercising. If a friend is unavailable, music, podcasts or even netflix whilst on the treadmill are all great ways to keep your mind busy whilst moving!
5. Practice mindfulness
You really can’t out run/out train/out smart a poor diet. If your goal is weight loss, we also need to be mindful of what energy we are consuming through food and drink. Sometimes we eat or drink without thinking, eat on the go, or simply eat because we’re bored, or “it’s there”. Keeping a food and exercise diary can help you to consider your food choices and make informed decisions about any changes that could be made to improve your overall nutrition. Eating Healthy for Adults is a great place to start, comparing your current eating habits to those recommended in the Australian guidelines.
Would you like further and individualised help?
If you’re struggling to set goals or need some help with developing strategies to improve your lifestyle, speak to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist today. They can help you with motivation, setting realistic goals and finding a place to start.
Find more information here
Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Wellness Coach and Credentialed Diabetes Educator.
We often hear 10,000 steps as the golden number to strive for in a day. Why is it 10,000 steps and is it accurate for everyone??
The 10,000 steps concept was initially formulated in Japan in the lead-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. However, there was no real research to support the target, instead it was a marketing strategy to sell pedometers.
Australian physical activity guidelines recommended a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day. When we convert 30 minutes of activity to steps, it equals approximately 3,000 to 4,000 dedicated steps at a moderate pace depending on the person.
In Australia, the average adult accumulates about 7,400 steps a day of incidental activity. Therefore, an additional 3,000 to 4,000 steps undertaken through dedicated walking will help you to reach the 10,000-step goal. Therefore for the average person, aiming for 10,000 steps a day means that we have had to undertake planned and dedicated exercise, and this is the most important part as this is where we get health benefits, therefore the 10,000 steps may be an accurate goal for the average person.
Are pedometers or activity watches that track our steps a good tool to use to help us increase our physical activity?
Yes they are. Anything that can help motivate you to exercise, provide accountability and track your progress is worthwhile trying. Studies that have looked at the use of activity watches for people specifically trying to improve their health has shown that they have helped to reduce weight and blood pressure when used to help people reach their goal.
Should the 10,000 steps be the goal for everyone, or are there variations for different people?
It definitely needs to be individual. Some people, for instance older people, people with chronic conditions and office workers will accumulate less incidental activity steps throughout the day and would not meet the average 7,400 steps, and others for example kids, athletes and people who are working on their feet all day will accumulate many more incidental activity steps throughout the day without undertaking any planned exercise.
What is important, is attempting to add 3-4,000 steps to your day through dedicated exercise. This could be in 1,000 step or 10 minute exercise chunks. Research tells us that physical fitness is a better indicator of health, than just being active alone. This is why the dedicated exercise component of your step goal is really important.
Alternatively, you may also get your 30 minutes of planned exercise in an alternative way that does not involve stepping such as swimming or cycling, so you will still receive the health benefits of exercise and fitness without increasing your step count. If this is you, your step goal might simply be to increase your incidental step count up to around 6-7,000/day.
Initially back in the 60s when pedometers were first developed there was no research regarding the magic 10,000 steps. Is there research now?
Yes, research recently has shown that people taking 10,000-steps or more a day have a 46% lower risk of early death. Other studies have also shown that people who took more than 5,000 steps a day had a much lower risk of heart disease and stroke than those who took less than 5,000 steps. And, each 1,000-step increase per day reduced the risk of dying prematurely of any cause by 6%.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist & Credentialed Diabetes Educator
1. Be a morning person
As they say the early bird catches the worm, and with everything being so busy in and around Christmas with Christmas shopping, food preparation for the big day, and the 5pm drinks or end of year celebration dinners, these can all get in the way of you exercising. With the massive to do list, the day just gets away from us. So, the best thing to do is to get up, get it done, and then get on with the rest of your day, knowing that you have ticked exercise off of your daily list.
2. Shop with your feet
Some partners might not be keen on this, but a full day of shopping can accumulate some serious steps, and as we know walking is good for our health. So ditch the online shopping, although it’s probably too late for that anyway, and get out there and research on your feet for those last minute gifts.
3. Reduce prolonged sitting at work
Many people are trying to wrap up end of year work, or cramming in extra work before heading off for their Christmas break, but this can mean a lot of sitting time. Some tips to try and reduce this sitting time are to park further away from your work, take the stairs where possible, take a walk at lunchtime or even squeeze in a mini-desk-workout. It’s surprising what a few squats every hour can do for your health and your quads!
4. Get more bang for your buck and up the intensity
Again, your time is precious at this time of year with so much to do, so aim to get more bang from your buck with your workouts by undertaking high intensity training. You can get away with doing almost half as much exercise time, if you are exercising in the high intensity zone of about 85-95% of your maximum heart rate during training. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) also triggers Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption which is an after exercise calorie burn. For this reason it’s much more effective at burning calories than your steady state or regular moderate intensity aerobic exercise.
5. Phone a friend
Do you have family staying with you, or have friends on holidays at the same time as you? Rather than only catching up over a drink or two, set a date for the morning to get exercising. It might be a hit of tennis, golf or just a long walk. But what an excellent way to be active and catch up on everything from the past year at the same time. Try and make it a holiday routine by undertaking it daily. And by having the accountability of a friend, you are more likely to stick to this routine, and it can be more fun when exercising with others.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist & Credentialed Diabetes Educator
Do you still have presents to buy this Christmas for your family and friends and unsure what to get them? Why not get them something that inspires them to move and improve their health in 2021. We also have gift vouchers available at Optimum Exercise Physiology that your loved one could use for individual or group sessions, or to buy exercise equipment.
Christmas Present ideas:
Water Bottle - how cool, 'literally’ are the water bottles these days. You can buy glass, stainless steel, or BPA free water bottles, in a range of colours, designs, and sizes. Some will even stay cold for up to 24 hours! Use them to take to work to keep your fluids up, or to the gym, tennis court or walking trail.
Headphones - who doesn’t like a bit of music, podcast or book to keep you going through your workout or walk. You can get in ear, on ear and even wireless headphones for as little as $19, or go all out and find the apple airpods on sale for under $200! Great for keeping you motivated, or passing the time quickly (whichever you prefer 😉 )
Bluetooth speaker - keeping on the music theme, get your speakers pumping when working out, indoors or outdoors.
Activity Tracker - these guys can also cost as little, or as much as you want, and can do as little or as much as you want! A top of the range Garmin watch has GPS, oxygen saturation level and heart rate monitoring on your wrist, altitude, and special ops functions that can set you back over $1500! But you can also buy something that will track your steps for as little as $150, and if you check out ebay or Gumtree, pick up one second hand for much less! Activity trackers have been shown by the research to help keep you accountable,and can assist in providing motivation to move more.
Exercise Mat – these are not just for the yoga and pilates enthusiasts. They’re great for home workouts too.
Gym Bag – Have this baby packed and ready to go in the morning or after work, so that there is no excuse not to hit the gym, pool or park.
Gym Towel - One of the essential items in your gym bag. Much better than using your t-shirt to wipe the sweat off during a big workout. Look for a microfibre towel as they are very absorbent, light and dry quickly.
Socks - this may seem strange to some, but exercising in crusty old socks is not fun 😋. And what a great stocking filler! Help your loved one start off their new year's resolutions in nice soft, comfy (matching) socks. If you’re new to socks yourself, check out sports stores for specific sports and running socks if that is what your loved one is in to, but even Bonds socks from Woolies are a great start.
Sports apparel - looking good, can make you feel good and help motivate you to get out there. Our local sports store, target and a couple of our local boutiques all stock exercise apparel. If you're not sure of your loved ones size, purchase a voucher to help support our local businesses.
Smartphone strap/holder - need to go mobile with your music, or need to be contactable by phone. Lots of versions available from arm bands to waist bags. Much better than a sweaty phone down your sports bra! Or, there are now many versions of tights that have a phone pocket in them.
Foam Roller - Lower cost versions available from department stores, or grab them from your sports store or Exercise Physiologist. Great for recovery to massage the muscles, but also useful for performing exercises and stretching.
Bath Salts – Say thanks to your muscles for all the hard work they do and relax them in a nice bath of salts.
Scented Candle – What goes better with a bath than a nice scented candle to also help you relax. Ahhhhhh.
Happy shopping and Merry Christmas from the team at Optimum Exercise Physiology. 🎄
Senior Exercise Physiologist & Diabetes Educator.
If you’ve ever tried to start a new exercise program you will know that there are many different types of physical activity out there. So how do you know which one will suit you best and bring the most benefit and enjoyment.
To break it down simply (and let you in on our best kept secret), the best type of physical activity is, the only you’re actually going to engage in regularly! If you are trying to complete an activity that you hate doing on a regular basis, the likelihood that you will continue this long term is very slim. Alternatively, if you have a form of physical activity that you are passionate and excited about that brings you joy, we are much more likely to keep participating long term.
But how do you find which activity gets you pumped to jump out of bed in the morning? There can be a few different things to take into consideration, for example; do you prefer indoor or outdoor activities? To spend time by yourself or with other people in social situations? What time frame do you have available to complete physical activity? Having a think about each of these things can help form a picture about what type of physical activity may suit you best!
Finding your style
When first starting out it can be a good idea to think about what types of physical activity you have enjoyed most in the past and what type of personality traits you possess.
Some things to consider include;
When trying to find which type of activity is going to suit best it is important to think about your health, fitness and wellness goals and why you are wanting to start a regular physical activity program. This will help in both, learning which types of physical activity are going to best help you achieve your goals and reminding you throughout your program why it is important for you to continue. A few examples to help you get started are;
By Aleisha Michael
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
The weather and change of seasons affect many things in our lives from our social calendars, mood, motivation levels and exercise routines. It’s no secret that going for a walk on a nice warm, sunny day is much more inviting than heading out into the cold and wet to get your movement in for the day. Although it is just as important to keep your regular exercise routine from summer continuing throughout the cooler months too. Consistency is the key to exercise and is crucial to maintain and promote all of the positive health benefits we gain from keeping our bodies moving.
Where to exercise
Everyone has their own preference about where and when they like to exercise. Some people prefer the gym while others prefer fresh air and getting outside to be active. Regardless of the space you feel more comfortable in there is still ways to stay active in all environments during winter.
Studies have found that regular gym goers are more likely to stay consistent with their exercise routine in the cooler months as they are inside and unaffected by the weather.
If you are more the outdoorsy type? Fear not, as there are still many ways to stay moving outdoors too! As most of us know when we get moving our body warms up, so when exercising outside in the cooler air you will soon become toasty warm! There are a few tips to remember when exercising in cooler conditions though. Longer warmups are often required to get our body warm and limber before getting into the main section of your session in cooler temps. It is also important to be aware of the conditions and avoid extended exposure to extreme conditions and dress appropriately too.
How to stay motivated
1. Make a plan: Schedule in your physical activity just as you would any other appointment, to give them more importance. If you do prefer to be outdoors take a look at the weather for the next day the night before and determine when will be the nicest part of the day for you to get your movement in outside.
2. Dress appropriately: Cooler temperatures mean more clothes need to be layered on, it makes training outside in the cold much more comfortable and also reduces your chances of catching a chill. This also applies to indoor gym goers too! Why not get a new set of activewear or some new sneakers to motivate you more to get to the gym to show it off.
3. Have an alternative: When the weather is just too much to handle outside it is important to have an alternative up our sleeve. This could be anything from swapping your run outdoors to inside on a treadmill, or simply following along to a no equipment workout from YouTube. The possibilities are endless so find something that you enjoy and that will keep you just as excited to complete indoors.
4. Set a Goal: Regardless of the season it is always important to set ourselves goals. They keep us accountable and motivated to be consistent. Adding rewards to your goals can also be a great way to keep you on track, maybe a new dress, a dinner date or even a holiday!
5. Remember why it’s important to you: When snuggled up in bed on those cold winters morning’s trying to force yourself out of bed it can be important to remind ourselves why keeping our bodies moving is so important to us and how it makes us feel. Whatever your ‘why’ may be, keep it in the forefront of your mind this winter to keep you going.
By Aleisha Michael