Exercise balls are awesome for the gym and for everyday use.
But do they have enough of an impact on our bodies to make them worthy of a place in the human body?
According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter, yes.
The team, led by Dr. Peter O’Connor, found that exercise balls actually improve blood flow to our muscles and reduce muscle fatigue and pain.
Exercise balls have also been shown to reduce pain and improve the overall wellbeing of individuals.
The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of exercise balls on blood flow and exercise-induced improvements in muscle function, such as a reduction in muscle pain and fatigue,” O’ Connor said.
“This study found that anaerobic exercise of exercise ball size and shape had a positive impact on blood flows in both the small and large muscle groups.”
As you can see, exercise balls are great for everyday exercise.
The study also found that these exercise balls had a moderate impact on muscle function.
However, O’ Conor said that the exercise balls also had a beneficial impact on the body’s immune system.
“They may be more effective for those who are immunocompromised, as well as those who have other illnesses, such the chronic inflammatory conditions, such in the heart, lungs and liver, which are commonly associated with the immune system,” he said.
The study was conducted on individuals who were tested at the end of their first cycle of exercise.
The researchers also tested exercise balls in humans, using a similar protocol.
They found that, while exercise balls did improve blood flows, they didn’t reduce pain.
“The authors observed no difference in pain or fatigue at any time in the control group or exercise balls group,” the researchers wrote in the study.
“However, the increase in blood flow in exercise balls is likely to be due to the increase blood flow from the muscle fibers to the muscle and to the muscles being more responsive to exercise,” O, Connor said in the paper.