By far the most popular new addition to the passive exercise category is whole-body vibration -- also known as "Vibration Plate" exercise. An outgrowth of a program used to train Russian cosmonauts, it quickly spread through Europe and Japan, then hit U.S. shores -- with whole centers now devoted to this workout.
What are the benefits?
Benefits include increased circulation, muscle strength, and flexibility; better range of motion; core conditioning and stability; and faster muscle recovery after working out. Further health benefits also include enhanced metabolism, increased bone mineral density, reduction of the stress hormone cortisol, elevation of human growth hormone levels, and improved lymphatic flow. Whole-body vibration is also said to reduce cellulite and stimulate collagen production for smoother skin. Manufacturers also say MBV can provide muscle toning and conditioning for those who have health restrictions that keep them from exercising, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and some forms of arthritis.