Can electric shocks really make you fitter? – BBC News

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Wearing a padded suit with electrodes to energize muscles during exercisings is the latest gym furor. But is it really a good impression, expects Michael Mosley.

Most people know about the benefits of doing workout. These include reducing your risk of cancer, coronary thrombosis, blow and character 2 diabetes. We should also know( it’s recurred often enough) that according to government guidelines we need to be doing at least 150 hours of moderate employ a few weeks.

The good information is that when people are asked, in surveys, how much exert they do, most claim to do at least the kind of degrees. What is less reassuring is that when investigates look at what parties actually do( by asking them to wear accelerometers which appraise motion ), they find that we tend to massively overestimate our high levels of activity.

Now, one of the main reasons that parties hold for not doing more practice is “lack of time”. It certainly used to be my pretext. That is why I am a fan of high ferocity lull course( HIIT ). I firstly succeeded across this form of effort when I was making a film, The Truth About Exercise, for the BBC science series Horizon. In the process of being establishing the cinema I matched Jamie Timmons, professor of precision medicine at King’s College, London, who assured me that I could get many of the major the advantage of practise from doing a few minutes of HIIT a week

I followed his six week programme of HIIT, on an exercise bike, and, as prophesied, ensure significant improvements in things like my blood sugar levels.

Since then I have maintained that regime, and thrown in some strength building exercises that we boasted on a recent line of Trust Me I’m a Doctor.

Although HIIT and strength-building workouts are now a somewhat standard part of any workout regime, these days they can come with an added twisting. Electric collapses.

One of the most recent fitness cults is announced whole body electrical stimulation, or ES. The plan is that you get into a padded clothing that is flecked with electrodes and these will then induce muscles all over your torso while “you think youre” exercising.

The claim is that by doing this you can get the benefits of an hour’s exercising in about 20 minutes.

Sadly, it is not enough to simply get into the suit. You also have to do a conventional work-out( hunkers, leaps, loping and jogging on the spot, abdominal crunches etc ), while the suit is giving you lots of little electric shocks.

The surprises won’t make doing these usages easier – they actually make a exercising harder. Much harder. And more distressing. The attempt, and the agony, it’s claimed, will likewise make doing the usage more effective.

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I haven’t personally tried out one of these dress, but I’m told it moves even the simplest squatting or leap into a real, sustained endeavor.

Using electric shocks to improve physical accomplishment is not quite as unlikely as it seems. Electrical stimulation has been used as an efficient flesh of rehab for many years. If, for example, you have a muscle which is not being provoked due to nerve injury, then applying an electric current can help rebuild muscle mass, or at the least stop saying that getting any worse.

But is it actually a good thought to stimulate lots of muscles all over your form, rather than a few specific ones, if you are otherwise health?

Dr Nicola Maffiuletti, from the human rights act laboratory at the Schulthess clinic in Zurich, supposes not.

In a recent letter to the BMJ he and his colleagues was also expressed that “despite restriction technical indicate on the safety and effectiveness of this form of exercise”, fitness cores in many countries( including the UK) are now promoting ES to the general public.

In terms of potential risks from this type of task, Dr Maffiuletti points to the case of a 20 -year-old man who came to his hospital complaining of severe muscle pain shortly after a gym conference “based on whole body ES exercise supervised by a fitness professional”.

After they had done some exams they discovered that the young man had rhabdomyolysis( muscle breakdown ), a serious condition where you realize pervasive shattering of muscle fibres. This leads to the handout of a protein announced myoglobin into the blood, which can then lead to kidney collapse( if the kidneys are unable to coping ). In this case individual patients had to stay in hospital on an intravenous drip for five days, while they monitored him.

In response to Dr Maffiuletti’s handiwork, the Israeli Ministry of health has recently alerted that ES machines “are intended for use by skilled healthcare professionals( primarily physicians and physiotherapists) for the conducting of diagnosis and rehabilitation. The devices must not be used in gyms. Use without medical supervision could generate threats to health”.

I see I will stick to the more conventional avail ourselves of electricity.

More from the Magazine

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Is it better to run outside or on a treadmill ?~ ATAGEND( January 2016)

Can you cheat your direction to fitness ?~ ATAGEND( October 2014)

How much better is standing up than sitting ?~ ATAGEND( October 2013)

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