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The Power is in the Plate

Posted on September 4th, 2017 by Andries Lodder

There’s been a craze in the fitness world in the last decade- Power Plate. This is exercise equipment in the form of a vibrating platform. There is a vibrating base which may vibrate upwards and downwards, close to 1 to 2 millimetres, 25 to 50 times per second.

Although Power Plate is already being used by many women to lose weight and to firm up, it is also very efficient for seniors wanting to stay fit. It’s principle of acceleration, giving fast muscular contractions, allows active seniors to keep fit and has health benefits as people advance in age.

Power Plate is a very good way of training efficiently but softly, and this because of the 2 main advantages:

  • Firstly, the absence of weight:
    • The fact that you work out without weight on the Power Plate reduces the risk of getting hurt.
  • Secondly, The Power Plate gives you the latitude to work on a static, semi static or sitting manner, thus easily adapting to the level of stress
    • For example, the more you bend in a squat the more you work.

Training on Power Plate enables the seniors to continue maintaining their bodies and reinforcing their muscular toning, all these at their own pace. Power Plate also allows for short and soft sessions such as only doing stretches, resulting in the improvement of flexibility and the moves’ amplitude.

Say Goodbye to age related health problems:

Osteoporosis is a disease where the bones are at risk of breaking easily due to increased bone weakness. Bone fragility affects 30% of the women 65 years old and more. It is also responsible for 145 000 fractures per year. High impact sports such as jogging or tennis help to fight against the loss of bone density. However, there is a snag. These activities are sometimes difficult to practice, particularly for the elderly. Enter the Power Plate. Several studies (particularly the one Steven Boonen of the University of Leuven, Belgium) proved that the vibrations of the Power Plate subsequently lead to a noticeable increase in bone mineral density. Regular physical activity on the Power Plate can be useful for the prevention of Osteoporosis.

Prevent Falls:

A number of physiotherapists, led by Doctor Michel Cabrol, an occupational therapist and sport doctor, drafted an experimental project, proposing to the residents of a retirement home in Cannes, these exercise programmes on the Power Plate. Revelations according the Doctor Cabrol were such that, the plate was particularly useful inn “putting back at work’, the muscular work, in a static manner, but with the patient not exerting themselves.

The Power Plate enables seniors to recuperate some muscular strength in the lower limbs. The proprioceptive centres located in the soles of the feet also get stimulated in the process. These centres, work as receptors, transmitting the information to the brain, which progressively, will reprogram on its ‘hard drive’, the balance notion.  By doing so, the Power Plate can contribute to freeing the elderly from the infernal ring imprisoning them: prolonged confinement to bed, melting of the muscular mass, decrease in bone density, not to mention fall fear of standing again and all these finally leading to sedentariness and immobility.

Pain Relief:

A static session on the Power Plate can benefit seniors who are suffering from backache. The sit on the Power Plate on low intensity programming sessions of thirty seconds alternating with rest times of the same length. The sessions can also be done while one is standing but immobile. The vibrations force a reaction out of the muscles, leading to relaxation of the body and a feeling of well-being. At the end of the sessions the feeling is always a positive. Doctor Michel observed in his patients, a real well-being and a relief following the sessions on the Power Plate.

Training programmes adapted to seniors:

Following observations of the beneficial effects on the seniors, the Power Plate teams have developed adapted programmes. They have an umbrella theme know as FEEL BETTER. These programmes are able to yield the following interesting results:

  • Flexibility:
    • A training session aiming to improve the body’s flexibility.
  • Stability 1 and 2:
    • Training sessions aiming to improve stability in the bottom of the body as well as body coordination.
  • Rejuvenation:
    • A session specifically geared towards destressing body and mind.
  • Solid Bones:
    • A programme focused on strength and coordination to reinforce the bone structure.
  • Active Ageing:
    • A functional preparation for the 65 years old and more with the objectives of improving mobility, balance and facilitating the smooth running in the journey of their daily lives.

Last but definitely not least:

Although moderate physical activity such as brisk walking is safe for most people, the importance of talking to your doctor first cannot be emphasised enough. Whatever you do, talk to your doctor before you start an exercise programme.

Original Article by:

Caroline Malokotsa, The Power is in the Plate, Senior Planet August 2017/Issue 3, Page 18-20


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This entry was posted on Monday, September 4th, 2017 at 1:31 pm and is filed under In Session. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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