South Africa, in common with most other countries, is experiencing a health crisis and furthermore, it is one that is self-inflicted and thus readily avoidable given the will and the means. It is no longer bacteria and viruses or even cancer that threaten to cut our lives short, but obesity and its range of potentially fatal consequences – diabetes, heart disease and stroke. While the seats on trains and planes have become progressively smaller, the bums of those who occupy them have been growing in inverse proportion. The result of a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary choices, this alarming trend is, fortunately, one that is both preventable and reversible with the help of a suitable programme of fitness training.
Many of those who read this article or whose doctor has recommended such a course are likely to agree with the principle, but respond by asserting that they have tried it on several occasions and it simply didn’t work for them. In practice, most people who embark on such a course fail to continue with it long enough to achieve the results that they were hoping for. In many such cases, the reason for abandoning their efforts is because it is a slow process and an undertaking that requires them to commit several hours of their time each week, which they soon discover they are frequently unable to spare. Many millions are wasted each year on the purchase of gym memberships that will remain totally or largely unused.
For others, it is often their current lack of adequate fitness that makes the effort of completing the training sessions rather more than they are able to sustain, given that conventional exercise routines tend to support the widely-held concept that there can be no gain without pain. In fact, while this may once have been essentially true, at least when referring to exercise, it need no longer be the case. With the advent of electro-muscular stimulation (EMS), the need for hours of straining and sweating to the point of exhaustion, whether to lose weight and tone up, or to add bulk to existing muscle mass, may well become a distant memory.
Acting in a manner much like voluntary muscular activity in which nerve impulses cause the muscular contraction needed to overcome resistance, the same effect results from the application of pulsed current to the skin above a muscle, although this involuntary stimulation produces more than 150 times more contractions than resistance-based fitness training.
Available at Body20 studios throughout South Africa, EMS programmes are personalised to each individual and require just a single 20-minute session per week, usually producing visible results in a month or less.