By far the most popular new addition to the passive exercise category is whole-body vibration or WBV -- also known as "Power 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.
Oja and his colleagues wanted to expand upon existing research about the benefits of physical activity. Some studies have tested the effects of exercise intensity, suggesting that vigorous exercise, like running, has greater health benefits than passive exercise, such as walking to work. Other studies looked at the short-term effects of exercise on health -- for example, how a six-week exercise program improved participants' well-being -- but they didn't show the long-term effects, Oja said.
Since varicose veins swell because blood pools in them, the best treatment is to empty blood from the veins. Any program of regular exercise stimulates circulation, and helps prevent varicose veins. However, most intense activity may increase blood pressure in the legs and accentuate varicose veins. Low impact or passive exercise are excellent therapy as they
are gentle to the joints and lower extremities yet very effective.
Prevention of the loss of joint motion is much less costly and time-consuming than correction of tissue changes that seriously impair joint mobility. It is recommended that each joint should be put through its full range of motion three times at least twice daily. If the patient is not able to carry out these exercises, he is assisted by a therapist or member of the family who has been instructed in the exercises. Inflammation of the joint, as in arthritis, may cause some pain on motion, and so passive exercises are done slowly and gently with the joint as relaxed as possible. Procedures that stretch tight muscles to increase joint motion should be done only by a skilled therapist who understands the hazards of fracture and bleeding within the joint, which can occur if the exercises are done improperly or too strenuously.
PASSIVE VOICE EXERCISES (elementary to intermediate)