Monday, February 2, 2009

Martha Stewart's Good Vibrations

“As the ‘Diva of Domesticity,’ Martha Stewart strives to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest in household trends and gadgets. It’s no surprise then that the how-to guru’s openness to new ideas and innovations extends to her fitness regimen, too. For nearly a year, Stewart has been using a relatively new weapon in her varied fitness arsenal, according to her personal trainer Mary Tedesco. It’s called the Power Plate. ‘As soon as it came out I jumped on it and we started using it,’ Tedesco tells Sun Media in an exclusive phone interview from New York. ‘She always wants me checking out the newest and latest equipment.’ The futuristic-looking Power Plate, which resembles a Segway without the wheels, emits vibrations that reportedly stimulate muscle contractions of between 25 and 50 times per second in the targetted muscle groups. Sounds a tad hokey at first blush. But Tedesco, Stewart’s trainer for about five years now, says it’s based on the body’s natural response to vibration. Acceleration Training, as it’s known, offers decreased stress, increased muscle mass and increased bone density, as well as several neurological benefits, Tedesco explains. ‘It goes above and beyond your traditional exercise equipment in that it really can help people with neuromuscular issues,’ she says. ‘For people that have MS, it can train those muscles even if they can’t voluntarily do it themselves.’ Stewart, 67, doesn’t have multiple sclerosis, but the multimillionaire homemaking mogul did undergo a left hip replacement in the summer of 2007. ‘It (the Power Plate) helps bring circulation to that hip area that we can’t necessarily always get in traditional exercising,’ Tedesco says of her highest-profile client whom she considers a friend. ‘It could be painful for her to do something like a lunge. But we can take her foot up onto the Power Plate and go into a quarter lunge or half lunge and it really helps with the circulation to the area.’ Of course, the Power Plate – used by other A-list celebs such as Madonna, George Clooney and Hilary Swank – is just one aspect of Stewart’s training routine. The five-foot-11 American icon, who has made an impressive comeback since her five-month prison stay four years ago for lying to government investigators about a stock sale, also works up a sweat via weight training, Pilates, yoga and hiking. Tedesco puts Stewart through her paces up to four times a week, usually at 6 or 6:30 a.m., for 60-90 minutes a session.”

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