Could watercress be the key to exercise injury prevention?

The benefits of regular exercise are well documented, but the effects of intense training can often take their toll on your body, leaving you with niggling injuries and feeling fatigued.

Highly energetic exercise increases the demand on our body to produce energy to sustain activity. This increased demand can create a build-up of free radicals which may damage our DNA and contribute to ageing. New research by scientists at Edinburgh Napier University and Ulster University has found that watercress can help to prevent DNA damage caused by intense bouts of exercise.

Dr Mark Fogarty, from Edinburgh Napier’s School of Life, Sport and Social Sciences says, “Although we are all aware of how good exercise can be for our bodies, pounding the treadmill, lifting weights, or doing high levels of training can take its toll. What we’ve found is that consuming a relatively small amount of watercress each day can help raise the levels of important antioxidant vitamins which may help to protect our bodies, and allow us to enjoy the rewards of keeping fit.”

For eight weeks, ten healthy men, were given 85 grams of watercress and asked to participate in high level exercise on the treadmill. The results were then compared to an eight-week study that was conducted without watercress consumption. Findings indicate that participants who had taken part in intensive exercise, but had not consumed watercress, were found to have more DNA damage than those who had consumed watercress.

Additionally, the effect of eating watercress was not reliant on an accumulative build-up in our bodies, those that ate the vegetable just two hours before exercise experienced the same benefits as those who had consumed the vegetable for eight weeks.

In order to help our bodies prepare for the increased demand of intense training, it’s vitally important to warm up and cool down after each session and make sure that your body has enough time to recover.

Power Plate is an excellent tool to help you warm up and cool down and it’s also perfect for injury rehabilitation. Vibration training helps to increase your flexibility by allowing your muscles to contract and relax multiple times a second, increasing the blood circulation to your joints and muscles to enhance stretches and prevent injury.

Check out Power TV for all the latest Power Plate warm up and cool down exercises as well as new stretches and exercise programmes.


Keep active to reduce the risk of Diabetes

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine Journal has found that the more exercise men do, the less at risk they are from developing Type Two Diabetes.

Researchers focused their study on more than 32,000 men and found that regular weight-training – 30 minutes a day, five times a week – reduces the risk of developing diabetes by up to a third. If weight training isn’t for you, the study also found that even less regular exercise – up to an hour a week – still had an impact, cutting the risk of developing the disease by 12%.

Regular aerobic exercise was found to be slightly better with regular activity halving the risk. For those who want to eliminate the risk of developing diabetes as much as possible; combining aerobic exercise with weight-training was seen to have the greatest effect; reducing the risk up to 59%.

Although it is already well-known that regular exercise can prevent the risk of developing diabetes, the report’s insight into the positive effects of weight-training will come as welcome news to those with mobility issues.

“Many people have difficulty engaging in or adhering to aerobic exercise,” says Anders Grontved, lead author of the study. “These new results suggest that weight-training, to a large extent, can serve as an alternative.”

Power Plate® training could also help to reduce the risk of diabetes. A study produced by the European Journal of Obesity in 2010 reported that Whole Body Vibration Training can help to reduce visceral fat round the mid section; which is often an early indicator of diabetes.

So whether it’s vibration training, weight-lifting or running that gets you going; now there’s an even better reason to keep fit and stay healthy.


The European Journal of Obesity Publishes Power Plate Reseach

Obesity levels are reaching new heights everyday, globally. The NHS Information Centre reports that if the nation’s sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits do not change, nine in 10 adults can be classified as obese by 2050.

Following our recent blog post presenting scientific research about whole body vibration reducing abdominal fat in overweight and obese adults, we can announce that this study has now been published in the latest addition of obesity facts, The European Journal of Obesity.

The results of this independent study, led by Dr Dirk Vissers in Belgium, show that Power Plate exercise, combined with a calorie-controlled diet, has the potential both to help overweight people lose weight and to maintainweight loss.

It concluded that combining whole body vibration (WBV) training with caloric restriction can help to achieve a sustained long-term weight loss of 5-10%. The preliminary data show that WBV training may have the potential to reduce visceral adipose tissue (VAT) more than aerobic exercise in obese adults.

As obesity continues to take its toll on society, being cited by the Department of Health as the cause of 9,000 premature deaths each year and reducing life expectancy by an average of nine years, these findings show that training on a Power Plate machine may offer a meaningful addition to future weight loss programmes.


Whole Body Vibration Helps to Reduce Cellulite

As the awareness about Power Plate machines continue to grow we want to keep you updated with all our research findings and the one that every woman will love to know is that exercising on a whole body vibration platform helps eliminate cellulite.

So what is cellulite? It’s that dreaded ‘orange peel’ or ‘cottage cheese’ that many of us women suffer from. It is actually a fancy name for collections of fat that push against the connective tissue beneath a person’s skin, which causes the surface of the skin to dimple or pucker and look lumpy!! Yuck – :(

Specific areas that concern many women are the buttocks, thighs, calves, ankles and upper arms. Healthy solutions for defeating cellulite have been elusive, but in this study the effectiveness of whole body vibration training in dealing with this problem is clearly shown – Are you still following? :)

The German Sanaderm Clinic performed a six-month research project to investigate the effects of Acceleration Training™ on cellulite.

Two groups were studied:
Fifty-five subjects were divided into two groups.
1. The first group only trained on a Power Plate® machine, two to three times per week, for sessions of 8-13 minutes.
2. The second group also used whole body vibration, but supplemented their 8-13 minute whole body vibration workouts with 24-48 minutes of cardio training.

Baseline measurements and tests were completed at the beginning of the study, and repeated six months later. The data collected consisted of:
• Skin condition (the measure of cellulite or evaluation of the deposits of dimpled fat under the skin).
• Circumference of calf muscles, buttocks, and upper thigh.
• Body composition: body fat percentage, lean mass percentage.

Study conclusions:
In six months, the whole body vibration group – which exercised on the “classic” Power Plate machine – achieved a 25.7% reduction of cellulite on thighs and buttocks, exercising two to three times per week, in sessions of 8-13 minutes.

The whole body vibration + cardio group achieved a 32.3% reduction of cellulite on thighs and buttocks, exercising two to three times per week in sessions of 8-13 minutes with whole body vibration, plus 24-48 minutes of cardio training.

These research findings reveal a new and exciting solution for fat loss and collagen remodeling. Finally, cellulite loss can be healthy, efficient, time-saving and fun, allowing whole body vibration users to maintain a youthful and lean, healthy look in a relatively short time and in just a few sessions per week – HOW AMAZING!!

This study proves that easy, simple and efficient whole body vibration training can defeat cellulite; it can accelerate and enhance collagen remodelling, improve circulation, increase lean tissue, help people to lose fat and reduce the size of buttocks, thighs and calves.

So I guess it’s time for me to lie on that Power Plate machines and watch the cellulite disappear…!


Whole Body Vibration Can Reduce Abdominal Fat in Overweight And Obese Adults

One of the biggest health issues for obese people is visceral (or abdominal) fat. Visceral fat is the fat tissue between the organs in the abdomen. It is a major health concern because there is a strong correlation between high levels of visceral fat and incidence of cardiovascular diseases.

A scientific study by Vissers et al (2009) involved 79 obese adults, who were randomly divided into four groups
Group 1: Were put on a low calorie program only (DIET)
Group 2: Were put on a fitness program (FITNESS)
Group 3: Received a hypocaloric diet and progressive Power Plate machine program (POWER PLATE)
Group 4: No changes to their lifestyle (CONTROL)

The study showed that the group incorporating Power Plate training lost twice as much visceral fat when compared to the diet and fitness groups.

Furthermore the decrease in visceral fat also remained at the same level in the Power Plate group for a full 12 months, while the diet and fitnesss groups returned to their baseline values after 12 months.

One possible explanation for why the Power Plate group did not return to baseline values as the other groups did after 12 months may be related to the hormonal changes that Power Plate training may cause.

For obese or overweight people, the Power Plate machine could be the ideal introduction to exercise. Exercise is low impact, reducing strain on the joints.