Wednesday, February 12, 2014

OSIM uShape: How to Burn Calories from All Those Chinese New Year Snacks!

Recently we attended an OSIM event for bloggers. The friendly OSIM folks showed us how their uShape machine works. It's a full-body vibration exerciser that helps to trim and tone the physique, and burn calories without exhaustive effort. Purportedly you can expend 136 calories in just ten minutes! If you've been on a treadmill or exercise bike, you'll know it's a lot of work to burn that amount of calories.

The strong vibrations cause rapid contractions to all muscles being exercised, as the body tries to keep its balance. OSIM says this helps strengthen muscles, increase metabolism and blood circulation. You can stand, sit, or hold various positions - squats, push ups, and lunges - and the machine will help increase the benefits.

But for me, the biggest draw of this is how fun the machine is.

Here's a video workout they've devised to help you increase variety and interest.

It's simple and yet so catchy. Plus the instructor Nick has such a soothing voice (speaking in Mandarin, but there are English subtitles).

But whoa, we had some shocking revelations at the event. We all found out just how many calories our beloved Chinese New Year food and snacks yield!

Yusheng! One serving has over 500 calories and has so much fat? Oh dear, I've been eating this like it's a negligible salad. But come to think of it, they do pour a whole bowl of oil usually into the mixture. And the wretchedly sweet plum sauce.

Bak kwa is so delicious but hey, 100g is not a lot of meat. Just a few slices and that's nearly 400 calories!

Another big shock - love letters or egg rolls. Holy crap! Two thin flimsy pieces will clog you with 120 calories? It's so easy to eat so many of these!

But it's all true, apparently. Here's a infographic from on the caloric value of common CNY snacks. Gosh, I am so going to have to ration my mindless snacking of these.

So how many of these did you eat? Darn it, I have a sudden craving for bak kwa right, looking at the pictures. I'm not very fond of counting calories, and even worse at resisting temptation. 

I think my worst caloric bust this year has come from yusheng. I had downed one too many by the time I found out they are 500 calories per serving. I tried to moderate the intake of all these other snacks above. To help me work off the extra calories, it had to be exercise to the rescue. 

The uShape is a great complement to my other workout routines like power yoga. The shaking helps warm up the body, and you can enhance moves like squats, lunges and pushups with the vibration.  If you're sluggish in the mornings, get on the uShape for a few minutes and do some stretches on it. 

But oh, don't try to workout immediately after a meal, no matter how guilt-inducing it was. Trust me, you will feel your food given a good whirl right inside you!

At the event, we also got to sample some of Xndo's products. I never really paid much attention to "diet food" but Xndo believes in real food with no preservatives. It manages to create lower calorie versions of tasty food by replacing certain ingredients with less calorie-dense options.

For example, they offer low-calorie but high fibre noodles made from konjac or konnyaku, which is springy and jelly-like.

But I was intrigued by the rice they have designed. It's long grain Jasmine rice interspersed with konjac pearls, so overall carbohydrate count is lower.


But back to the OSIM uShape vibration exerciser.

It's hard to imagine that you can burn so many calories without breaking a sweat. But I tried a ten-minute session on the machine, and I could feel my knees and ankles a little sore the next day from balancing on the thing.

I also tried to do some research on the validity of this kind of vibration training.

Here's a New York physical therapist talking about how vibration training works. Our bodies develop the right amount of muscle, bone density, cardiovascular and nervous system health to counter the contact force from gravity. When we are sedentary, we reduce the effects of gravity acting on our all those aspects. Whole body vibration training seems to be a relatively safe and easy way to increase the amount of contact force experienced by our bodies.

If this really does what other vibration machines do, then it seems it's pretty good for health overall.

Best of all - You don't need to drag yourself to the gym, you can work out right at home!

But as with all exercises, please check with your doctor before proceeding, especially if you have medical conditions. 

The OSIM uShape is now on CNY sale for just S$699 (usual price S$1288). It's available at all OSIM outlets, roadshows and online at - stocks are currently low (they were already selling fast even at full price), but we hear new shipments will arrive in Feb.

To complement the calorie reducing regime, OSIM is also giving away a Xndo Half Calories Meal, Black Pepper Fish and Milk Tea worth S$21.90 with every purchase of uShape. 



  1. I bought UShape few years back but never used it. Just two days ago, I started using it, and I think I overdone it. Plus I have a big belly. I felt pain after work out. Not internally, but just painful from all the vibration. After that, after 24 hours, after two rounds of UShape, the pain came back. This morning, I noticed bruises all under my belly. Wow... Plus, the reason why I didn't do UShape all these times is because... Lazy, yes, I'll be very honest... Secondly, until today, I still can't find much information about the users review... I only saw say around three reviews that said almost exactly the same thing, using the same phrase surprisingly, something like 'non exhaustion exercise..." Still doubtful actually if it really works...

  2. Hi Hiromu, that sounds serious - bruises under the belly? I hope you have recovered!

    Well, I do notice that if I try the uShape on a full stomach, the vibrations can get uncomfortable; it's like going jogging and skipping after a full meal. So maybe a big belly has the same effect. The machine needs to be strong in order to be effective - to get our muscles to work at compensating against the vibrations. But I guess you can start with the easy zone (feet in the middle) so the vibrations are less intense. And maybe with frequent rest intervals in between. Then slowly work your way up. Maybe combine it with some cardio like brisk walking for faster results.

    I used to be skeptical of such machines too. However, recently, my neighbourhood barber had a stroke, and couldn't move half his body. The doctors put him on this uShape thing for two hours a day and got the circulation going again. He's back at his shop, cutting hair again. Incredible. So I guess it does do something for your circulation.

  3. Does it work for weight loss?

    1. It might, but you can't use it a lot in one go (too intense). It's good for short bursts.

  4. Hi Camemberu,

    I’m been using the machine. But I not sure which programme should I take first. Circulations, Firm or Strengthen.

    Please advise the differences.


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