How Whole Body Vibrational Training Tackles Abdominal Fat

Vibrational Training  helps you shake off  abdominal fat 

and keep it off!!!

A lot hasEasy 1 been written in the last few years about how important it is for us to lose excess belly fat.   Belly fat can be a combination of the fat that you can pinch between your fingers (subcutaneous) and fat deep around your internal organs(visceral fat).   It is the visceral fat that has been linked to hypertension, heart disease, vascular disorders, diabetes and other diseases.  Chances are if there’s obvious belly fat the hidden visceral fat is there as well.  And it can effect anyone – those who are overweight, of normal weight and even those otherwise thin.   There is a piece of exercise equipment that has been gaining increasing recognition for it’s role in combatting belly fat.  It is called whole body vibration (WBV).

A six-month study, done by Artesis University College and the University of Antwerp in Belgium in 2012  found that subjects who took part in whole body vibrational training lost two times more body fat than those doing cardio plus weight training.  And they sustained the loss over a 12-month period whereas the cardio/strength group didn’t.  Dr. Mercola, in his June 2012 newsletter, writes that there are over 200 published scientific studies documenting the benefits of WBV training, also known as Acceleration Training.

Works nearly 100% of Muscle Fibers (slow, fast and super-fast muscles)

We have three muscle fiber types, slow twitch, fast, twitch and super-fast twitch.

Slow twitch(red muscle) muscles are activated by traditional strength training and cardio exercises.

Fast twitch muscles(composed of fast and super-fast muscle fibres)  come into play when we are trying to keep our balance as when we’re walking on ice or about to fall.  They are activated even before we are aware we are about to trip or fall. They respond quickly, and have a very short range of motion.

The beauty of whole body vibration machines is that it utilizes all three types of muscle fibre- slow twitch, fast twitch and super-fast muscle . As a matter of fact, with WBV nearly 100% of muscles  contract as opposed to only 40% with regular exercise (only slow twitch muscles).  With the WBV machine what  feels like an easy workout is actually burning calories than you might expect as your body tries very hard to maintain your balance.  Since fast twitch muscles use our fat deposits and not glucose as their energy source, WBV training leads to faster fat loss.  And as an added bonus you don’t feel hungry when you finish your workout and thus you’re not prone to overeating post workout and adding the calories back.   So WBV decreases calories and stored fat!!  This is one of the main reasons that WBV machines are so efficient for anyone wanting to lose weight and shed inches off their waistline.

Burns Calories and Increases Metabolism’s not just the calories that are burned during a vibration session, but whole body vibration exercises have been shown to increase resting metabolism so that we can burn up to 30% more calories daily. Obviously, this would be a great help in not just losing the fat but maintaining your weight loss over time.

Eliminates Cellulite and the Appearance of Fat

Hate your cellulite? WBV can help get rid of those ugly dimples that are caused when the connective fibers in your skin pull down where body fat pushes up.  Any one can have cellulite but it is found mostly in women’s buttocks, thighs and upper arms.  Improving the circulation in areas prone to cellulite, which accelerated training does, helps to reduce cellulite and get rid of toxins.

Dr. Mercola states that  “In a 2004 German study, Whole Body Vibration training alone reduced cellulite on subjects’ thighs and buttocks. When cardio exercises were added to Vibration training, cellulite dropped even more.”

Decreases Cortisol

Another great benefit of WBV exercise is that it helps to control  cortisol,  that nasty stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and  the one hormone that increases as we age.   Excess levels of this stress hormone have serious negative effects on the body. It slows the healing process, decreases bone formation, increases blood pressure, reduces serotonin levels in the brain and impairs learning and memory.  And cortisol plays a role in increased belly fat.  When cortisol levels increase, blood sugar goes up(bad for diabetics) with a resultant increase in insulin.  Increased insulin levels lead to increased fat storage-especially in the abdomen which has more cortisol receptors.  The more belly fat you have, the more cortisol you produce, and a vicious cycle ensues. But studies have shown that WBV can have a dramatic effect on reducing cortisol – up to 32% in a 10-minute session.

Increases  Growth Hormone

Whole Body Vibration, stimulates the fast twitch muscles and thus has been shown to have a very positive effect on the production of Growth Hormone (GH), one of the good hormones produced by the pituitary gland. GH does many wonderful things for oweight lossur bodies including increasing lean muscle tissue, decreasing belly fat, increasing bone density, strengthening the immune systems and improving blood lipid levels.  Clinical studies have shown that WBV increased GH secretion by several hundred percent.

Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is an easy and most effective way to shake off pounds, and in only 15 minutes three times a week. With all the research showing the tremendous benefits of WBV machines, and their NOW affordable pricing, not only are WBV platforms giving treadmills a run for their money in gyms, spa’s, rehabilitation and long term care facilities, but they are increasingly popular for home use.



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Prevent Back Pain – Get On The Ball (Chair)

At conferences and tradeshows, I’m often asked why I choose the Zenzu Ball Chair over a traditional exercise ball.  There are several reasons:

1. The steel frame of the Zenzu Ball Chair is height adjustable, which allows users of all sizes (from 5’0” to 6’1”) to choose their optimal ergonomic position

2. While traditional wide diameter balls offer the height needed, their increased diameter risk putting pressure on calves as the user’s legs drape around the circular sides of the ball. This pressure can potentially interfere with blood flow. The Zenzu Ball Chair, on the other hand, eliminates this problem. It’s 45 cm anti-burst ball sits securely in a steel frame that lifts users up and shifts their bodies into a natural ergonomic position.

3. The height adjustable back can be used to assist users until they are able to build up their core strength and no longer require a back support. Once users have a strong core, they now have the option of switching between periods of active sitting and periods of rest against the back support.

4. Mobility – The 5 castors allow users to easily glide the ball between locations (i.e. I use the ball to wheel from my desk to the printer).

5. Movement without Mobility – If the user prefers a stationary ball, a thin metal ring is available from the manufacturer which prevents the chair from rolling. This option is often useful in class situations, where children with ADD/ADHD can use the Zenzu Ball Chair to help with focus and attention. Children are able to bounce in place, without worry that they will roll away from their position.

Read what another worker had to say about her love for the Ball Chair!


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Health Coaching Begins at Home

If charity begins at home, then it may be time for me to be as good to
myself as I try to be to others. To that end, I have now started to be my own
health coach to try to reach my fitness goals.

I have started with two key goals. First, I want to improve my stamina
so that I can carry a weight of 25 pounds to 30 pounds – say, the equivalent of
my grandson or a bag of groceries —  up two
flights of stairs without becoming short of breath. Second, I want to lose one
inch of abdominal (belly) fat.

I have set the beginning of February as my end date to coincide with a planned vacation when I will be hiking and, at times, wearing a bathing suit.

I’ve created an exercise schedule to include three sessions of interval
training and two sessions of full-body strength training, as well as core
exercises, each week. I also would like to do yoga with my daughter two nights
a week but our schedules may make that tricky. So I’ll consider the yoga a
bonus and not essential to reaching my goals. (While some health coaching pros
might not consider this a starting “baby step,” I feel I can make it work for

I have told my partner, Alan, and my friend, Terry, about my goals and
asked for their support. Both are on board. While I may have a piece of dark
chocolate after dinner, Alan has promised he will no longer tempt me with more
by bringing me an entire chocolate bar to eat at night.
I’m going to keep up regular progress reports, and hope to share them with you from time to time.  Stay connected and follow my journey.

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Why is High-Intensity Interval Training Considered Most Effective Way to Exercise?

Again, to take an excerpt from Dr. Mercola’s Peak Fitness Newsletter:

“Interval Training
Burns More Calories in Less Time….

In related news, research presented at the Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting2 in Colorado on October 10-13 this year, demonstrated that high-intensity interval training
burns more calories in less time – a mere 2.5 minutes, divided into five
30-second sprint intervals at maximum exertion, each followed by four minutes
of light pedaling to recuperate, can burn as much as 220 calories. All in all,
in less than 25 minutes total, you can burn more calories than you would if you
were cycling at a moderate pace for half an hour.

According to lead researcher, exercise physiology graduate student Kyle

“‘You burn a lot of calories in a very short time… Nearly all the
calories are burned in those 2.5 minutes; you burn very few during the rest
period.’ He also points to additional benefits that come from interval
training, including increased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, both
of which are important for overall good health.”

High-intensity interval training, which is part of my total fitness program, has also been shown to produce greater health benefits overall than conventional aerobic training.
A study  found doing just three minutes of high-intensity training  per
week for four weeks, could lead to significant changes in important health
indices, including a 24 percent improvement in insulin sensitivity.

Another important benefit of high-intensity interval training is its
ability to naturally increase your body’s production of human growth hormone
(HGH), also known as “the fitness hormone.” HGH is a synergistic,
foundational biochemical underpinning that promotes muscle and effectively
burns excessive fat. It also plays an important part in promoting overall
health and longevity. This is something you cannot get from conventional,
aerobic endurance training.”



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Interval Training Best Way to Lose Belly Fat and Gain Stamina

Interval Training is what I use as the fastest, easiest way to lose fat and gain stamina(my 2 health and fitness goals) and  is what I recommend to my clients.

It is very well described by Dr. Mercola in one of his newsletters  and is repeated below:

“I use and recommend the program developed by Phil Campbell, which will trigger HGH production as you go “all out” during the exertion phase. Here’s a summary of what a typical interval routine might look like using the Resistance Chair:
• Warm up for three minutes.
• Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. You should be gasping for breath and feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds.(of course, check with a healthcare professional first if you have any medical concerns). It is better to use lower resistance and higher repetitions to increase your heart rate.
• Recover for 90 seconds, still moving, but at slower pace and decreased resistance.

• Repeat the high-intensity exercise and recovery 7 more times

As a physio, I recommend you finish with  a cool down for 3 minutes and then stretching of hamstrings and quads is recommended.

When you’re first starting out, depending on your level of fitness, you may only be able to do two or three repetitions of the high-intensity intervals. As you get fitter, just keep adding repetitions until you’re doing eight during your 20-minute session. Once you regularly incorporate these 20-minute exercises about twice a week, most people notice the following benefits:
Decrease in body fat Improved muscle tone
Improved athletic speed and performance
Ability to achieve your fitness goals much faster
Increase in energy and sexual desire ”

Best of Luck,
Let me know how it goes…

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Why is having Belly Fat considered unhealthy?

Belly Fat is Far More Dangerous than Having a Total BMI in Obese Range
October 26 2012

By Dr. Mercola
A study on belly fat presented at the European Society of Cardiology
Congress12confirms that visceral fat – the type that gathers around your internal
organs – is far more dangerous to your health than you might think.
The traditional index of obesity, BMI (body mass index), has been proven
to be terribly flawed as having a normal overall BMI and high abdominal obesity
was found to be more dangerous than having a total BMI in the obese range.
For example, cardiovascular deaths in the study were 2.75 times higher
for those of normal weight who had big bellies compared to those with both a
normal BMI and a normal waist-to-hip ratio. It also implies that monitoring
one’s belly fat is more important than watching BMI.
According to Medical News Today:3
“Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., senior author and a cardiologist at
Mayo Clinic in Rochestor, explained: ‘We knew from previous research that
central obesity is bad, but what is new in this research is that the
distribution of the fat is very important even in people with a normal weight.
This group has the highest death rate, even higher than those who are
considered obese based on body mass index. From a public health perspective,
this is a significant finding.’
…Dr. Lopez-Jimenez wants readers to understand that even though their
body mass index might be normal, it doesn’t mean they have a low risk of heart
disease. People can determine their risks by getting a waist-to-hip
measurement, because where fat is distributed on the body can tell a lot, even
if people have normal body weights.”
Your Ideal
“Weight” is Not Necessarily Based on Pounds…
There are a number of methods for calculating your ideal body size. The
study above used waist-to-hip measurement. This is done by measuring the
circumference of your hips at the widest part, across your buttocks. Then
measure your waist at the smallest circumference of your natural waist, just
above your belly button. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement
to get the ratio.
The University of Maryland offers a handy online waist-to-hip ratio calculator you can
use, which also tells you whether or not you might be at an increased risk for
heart disease. The featured study used the following waist-to-hip ratio designation
  • Normal = 0.85 or below in women, and 0.90 or below in men
  • High = 0.85 or greater in women, and 0.90 or greater in men
Another even simpler method to figure out if you have a weight problem
is to measure only your waist circumference (the distance around the smallest
area below the rib cage and above your belly button). Waist circumference is
the easiest anthropometric measure of total body fat.
Either of these methods are far better than BMI for judging disease
risk, as BMI fails to factor in how muscular you are. BMI also cannot give you
an indication of your intra-abdominal fat mass.
Waist size, on the other hand, gives a good indication of the amount of
fat you’re carrying, particularly around the stomach area. Abdominal fat is
considered an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as
coronary heart disease and stroke. Your waist size is also a powerful indicator
of insulin sensitivity, as studies clearly show that measuring your waist size
is one of the most powerful ways to predict your risk for diabetes. If you’re
not sure if you have a healthy waist circumference, a general guide is:
For men, between 37 and 40 inches is overweight and more than 40 inches
is obese
  • For women, between 31.5 and 34.6 inches is overweight, and more than
    34.6 inches is obese
Body Fat Percentage
– Another Way to Gauge Ideal Body Size
Yet another tool, which many experts are now leaning toward as the most
accurate measure of obesity, is body fat percentage. As it sounds, this is
simply the percentage of fat your body contains, and it can be a powerful
indicator of your health.
Too much body fat is linked to chronic health problems like high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Too little body fat is also problematic and can cause your body to enter
    a catabolic state, where muscle protein is used as fuel.
A general guideline from the American Council on Exercise is as follows:
Classification Women (percent fat) Men (percent fat)
Essential Fat 10-13 percent 2-5 percent
Athletes 14-20 percent 6-13 percent
Fitness 21-24 percent 14-17 percent
Acceptable 25-31 percent 18-24 percent
Obese 32 percent and higher 25 percent and higher
Body fat calipers are one of the most trusted and most accurate ways to
measure body fat. A body fat or skinfold caliper is a lightweight, hand-held
device that quickly and easily measures the thickness of a fold of your skin
with its underlying layer of fat. Taken at three very specific locations on
your body, these readings can help you estimate the total percent of body fat
within your entire body.
You can also use a digital scale that determines body fat, which is what
I use personally. I use an Eat Smart Precision GetFit Body Fat Scale that I
picked up from Amazon for around $50. Although many body fat measurements can
be inaccurate, they are nearly all more accurate than BMI, and are particularly
useful to determine whether you are gaining or losing fat. Although the
absolute value may be off, the direction you are going (whether your body fat
is going up or down) will be very accurate, and this is an incredibly useful
measure of whether you’re nearing your health goals or not.
Remember that it is FAR better to monitor your body fat percentage than
it is your total weight, as the body fat percentage is what dictates metabolic
health or dysfunction – not your total weight.
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CPR SAVES LIFES….including my nephew’s

Needless to say, we are ecstatic that my nephew has made a full recovery after having a cardiac arrest on the streets of New York  last Thanksgiving weekend. It has certainly redefined the meaning of “thanks giving” for my entire family!!! Words can’t express how appreciative we are of the Good Samaritan and his two accomplices for doing CPR, and saving his life!!
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Why do my muscles fatique so quickly?

To best answer that question, I am going to copy an article recently published by CCAA on facebook below:

Grad student explores activity and aging

Tom Thomaes (right) participates in research with Ontario Graduate Scholarship recipient Geoff Power, PhD’12, at Western’s Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging.

Geoff Power studies power. Not the kind that fuels our appliances or lights. But rather how nerves work with muscles to produce movement in our bodies. In particular, he investigates power generation (the ability to move) following muscle damage, especially when our bodies age.

“In aging, we get slower and our muscle contraction properties – such as force, power and velocity – get lower,” says Geoff, a recipient of a Western Fund Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and fourth-year PhD student in kinesiology. “We simply become more fatigable.”

Through his research at Western’s Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging (CCAA), Geoff wants to discover the effects of fatigue and muscle damage on short, speed-dependent power loss and recovery. During his research, Geoff induces damage to the muscles of participants, and then tests their ability to generate power.

“If older adults are stressed with fast movements, they’re in fact more fatigable than younger adults. At our lab, we’ve shown that older adults experience more fatigue when their muscles are stressed by everyday tasks, and now we’re seeing that their muscles are fatigued by fast, rapid contractions,” he says.

Geoff credits his OGS funding, plus other sources of research funding, for helping advance his studies. “I’m thankful that donors have contributed to make scholarships possible for myself and other graduate students,” says Geoff, who came to Western after completing undergraduate and master’s degrees. “This kind of award has allowed me to stay focused on my lab work to advance my research and to not worry as much about finances.”

The funding to Geoff, and to other students like him, will eventually propel valuable research. In Geoff’s case, his studies will help increase knowledge about how age and activity influence human motor control and function.

He plans to complete his PhD this fall, and then move onto post-doctoral studies in 2013 – making further discoveries about power.

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Get Motivated to Move

physical activityPhysical activity and exercise routines are vital for people to reach their health and fitness goals. You are never too old or too unfit to benefit from exercise. On the contrary, studies show that the more frail and unfit you are, the more you will benefit from exercise.

If you want to add length and quality to your life, follow these six steps to build adequate physical activity into your life:

1. Set short- and long- term health and fitness goals
Think about what you want to achieve in both the short and long term. Whether you want to improve your stamina so that you can play a longer game of tennis, increase your muscle strength so that you can lift your grandchild, prevent back pain when you garden, or lift your arm to reach a high shelf in a cupboard, consider how being in better shape will benefit various aspects of your life. Come up with activities or exercises to make improvements in stages, always keeping ultimate goals in mind.

2. Schedule it in
Get into an exercise routine. Set aside the same time every day(or almost everyday) to dedicate to exercise. You may need to experiment to find the most suitable time – and the time you’re most likely to stick to. Many people prefer mornings. Spend some time every Sunday night putting together a plan for your physical activity and exercise regimen for the week ahead. Don’t worry if something gets in the way: Remember that a little exercise is better than none. If you slack off one day, don’t let it become a pattern.

3. Take baby steps
Think of small, easy-to-do activities or exercises to begin so that you don’t set yourself up for failure. Keep adding small progressions to increase your routine. Start low and go slow to reach your goal.

4. Make activities regular and enjoyable
Focus on physical activities that you enjoy. You are more likely to keep up a regular routine if you like what you are doing

5. Record it
Keep an exercise journal or log to track your progress and keep you motivated.

6. Get support
Seek the support of a friend or family member to help you stay motivated and on track. Find an exercise buddy to join you in maintaining your exercise routine. Many people find health coaches or fitness experts useful to help them stay on track and keep them accountable.

Follow these six steps to be on your way to a longer and better quality of life.

Image courtesy of stockimages /

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Heart Disease Can Be Reversed

Studies of men and women with heart disease show that aerobic training and resistance training improve fitness(VO2 peak), decrease fat mass, improve muscle mass and improve quality of life and confidence more than only aerobic training alone.

“About 1,500 kcal/wk of physical activity is necessary to halt progression of coronary atherolsclerosis lesions; regression of coronary lesions is observed only in patients expending an average of 2,200 kcal/wk, amounting to about 5-6 hours a week of regular physical exercise”.   Hambrechet et al, JACC 1993

Make a plan for both aerobic and resistance training by using the F.I.T.T. principal.

Aerobic Training:

  • Frequency: 5 times per week
  • Intensity: Moderate(so that you are slightly short of breath)
  • Time: 30-60 minutes continuous or intermittent(ie can be done in 10 min. increments)
  • Type: activity using large muscle groups like walking, cycling, swimming or reciprocal arm movements

Resistance Training:

  • Frequency: 2-3 times per week(not back to back days)
  • Intensity: start with 1 set of 10-15 repetitions
  • Time: will vary between 20-45 minutes
  • Type: 8-10 exercises which target all major muscle groups, using free weights, resistance cables/bands or machines

For more information or a free consultation on how you can use the Resistance Chair for both aerobic and resistance training contact Gwen Rose, physiotherapist at 1-877-963-9637.

For general information on risk factors of heart disease and stroke see article below:

Heart Disease Kills More Woman then Cancer Each Year

by  Felyce Zomparelli

Heart disease and stroke is the number one killer of women in Canada, taking nearly 35,000 lives each year, that is more than all forms of cancer combined. Most women have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke, yet women are still not aware. In 2011 the Heart and Stroke Foundation found that too many Canadians are in denial about the risk factors for heart disease. There are risk factors you can’t control like age, gender, family history and ethnicity. But some of the risk factors contributing to heart disease and stroke you can control. Reducing the risks of heart disease and stroke are as simple as physical activity. Physical inactivity has been found to be the most common of all risk factors contributing to heart disease and stroke. A recent Canadian Health Measures survey revealed that 85% of Canadians don’t meet the recommended amount of 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. That is only twenty-two minutes a day. Physical inactivity is a contributing factor in most of the risk factors of heart disease that you can change such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Physical activity helps prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure and increasing levels of good cholesterol in the blood among many other things. It can also help control blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. Evidence shows that physical activity provides significant benefits among all ages, ethnicity’s, disabilities and chronic conditions even if you remain overweight. Exercise can also help those who already have heart disease prevent additional heart attacks. Heart disease and stroke take one in three Canadians but it doesn’t have to. Everyone can prevent and reduce their risk of heart disease by not smoking, achieving a healthy body weight, being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day and eating a healthy diet. If you are new to exercise consult an expert, like a personal trainer or physiotherapist to help you get started. Always check with doctor before starting any exercise program.

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