Vibration exercises such as the “Shake Weight” are growing in popularity. More people then every are looking for an easy way to get in shape, but are these exercises necessarily a good choice for older individuals? What risks are associated with their use? Here are three ways in which the Shake Weight and other vibration exercises can be dangerous for older individuals. If you are elderly or have an elderly loved one at home, be sure to read this article carefully before beginning an exercise routine with vibration exercise equipment.
One very serious risk associated with vibration exercises and the elderly is the risk of broken bones. Osteoporosis, or the weakening of the bones, is a condition characterized by greater incidences of bone breaks and fractures and is seen in the elderly at a greater rate than other populations. Elderly women, especially, are specifically at risk for the development of osteoporosis after the onset of menopause. Some women exhibit bones that are so fragile that they can be broken through as little force as a handshake. Jarring movement of a vibration exercise can contribute to broken bones in the elderly.
Another risk associated with vibration exercise and the elderly is the risk of concussion. As people age, they have a decrease in the amount of muscle mass found within the body, and they are often more unstable on their feet. This can lead to a greater risk of falls, which, in turn, can contribute to concussions or even more serious head injuries. Vibration exercises, which are specially designed to put people off balance, are therefore extremely dangerous for elderly individuals who already have a decreased sense of balance. If these individuals are determined to try a vibration exercise, make sure they are sitting on a chair or couch or, even better, lying down on a bed in order to prevent the risk of falls and concussions.
Elderly people are at a greater risk for the occurrence of plaque buildup in the arteries, which is caused by a combination of factors including diet, genetics, activity level and general health. Occasionally, a piece of this plaque will break off of the arterial wall, travel through the bloodstream, and enter the heart or brain, resulting in a stroke or heart attack. While there are no known factors that cause a blood clot to occur, some research suggests that sudden rapid movements, such as those associated with vibration exercise, may result in a greater propensity of clots being formed. Older individuals who either have been diagnosed with plaque buildup in their arteries or who are concerned about this condition due to heredity history should consult with a doctor or other health care professional before starting vibration exercise.