By Nirupama Deshpande, PhD
An amazing fact – just twenty minutes of rebounding exercise equals 1 hour of running! Further, rebounding exercise can reduce your body fat, firm your arms, benefit the shape of your legs, hips and abdomen, improve your balance, stimulate your lymphatic system, protect your joints, strengthen your muscles and bones without the trauma of hitting a hard surface, provide an aerobic effect for your cardiopulmonary systems, revitalize your body when it’s tired, and generally put you in a state of mental and physical wellness! Sounds too good to be true? Let’s explore this a bit.
So what is rebounding?
Rebounding exercise, to put it simply, is bouncing on a mini trampoline. Unlike regular trampolining, the aim isn’t to bounce high or perform gymnastic tricks, but to perform a series of small, controlled movements. The idea of rebounding has been around for a long time, as in the 1980s, NASA studied its benefits while trying to find an effective way to help astronauts recover and regain bone and muscle mass after being in space. Astronauts can lose as much as 15% of their bone and muscle mass from only 14 days at zero gravity, so NASA needed a way to help reverse this damage. When the astronauts were tested while running on a treadmill, the G-force measured at the ankle was over twice what it was at the back and head. This means that the foot and leg absorb much of the force when running. On a trampoline, the G-force was almost identical at the ankle, back and head, and at a lower level than that of the G-force at the ankle on a treadmill. This shows that rebounding can exercise the entire body without excess pressure to the feet and legs.
How rebounding works
Many types of exercise are done to target specific muscles or just to increase cardiovascular function. Rebounding is unique since it uses the forces of acceleration and deceleration, and can work on every cell in the body in a unique way. When you bounce on a rebounder (mini-trampoline), several actions happen:
• An acceleration action as you bounce upward
• A split-second weightless pause at the top
• A deceleration at an increased G-force
• Impact to the rebounder
The action of rebounding makes use of the increased G-force from gravity-based exercises like this, and each cell in the body has to respond to the acceleration and deceleration. Rebounding is extremely beneficial for the lymphatic system as it makes the lymphatic fluid move. The main lymph vessels run up the legs, arms and torso; thus the lymphatic fluid moves only in one direction. Therefore, the vertical up and down movement of rebounding is an effective way to pump the lymph fluid. The lymph system bathes every cell, carrying nutrients to the cell and waste products away. Contrary to blood which is pumped by the heart, the lymph is totally dependent on physical exercise to move. Without adequate movement, the cells are left stewing in their own waste products and starving for nutrients, a situation which contributes to arthritis, cancer and other degenerative diseases, as well as aging. Vigorous exercise such as rebounding is reported to increase lymph flow by 15 to 30 times.
The rebounding motion stimulates all internal organs, moves the cerebral-spinal fluid, and is beneficial for the intestines. All cells in the body become stronger in response to the increased ‘G force’ during rebounding, and this cellular exercise results in self-propelled immune cells being up to 5 times more active. These immune cells are responsible for eating viruses and bacteria. Jumping on a mini-trampoline directly strengthens the immune system.
Benefits of Rebounding
A zero-impact exercise, rebounding provides many benefits for you and your body by
• Increasing the capacity for breathing
• Circulates more oxygen to the tissues
• Helps combat depression
• Helps normalize your blood pressure
• Helps prevent cardiovascular disease
• Increasing the activity of the red bone marrow in the production of red blood cells
• Aiding lymphatic circulation, as well as blood flow in the veins of the circulatory system
• Lowering elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels
• Stimulating the metabolism, thereby reducing the likelihood of obesity
• Toning up the glandular system, especially the thyroid to increase its output
• Improving coordination throughout the body
• Promoting increased muscle fiber tone
• Offering relief from neck and back pains, headaches, and other pain caused by lack of exercise
• Enhancing digestion and elimination processes
• Allowing for easier relaxation and sleep
• Results in a better mental performance, with sharper learning processes.
• Relieves fatigue and menstrual discomfort for women.
• Minimizes the number of colds, allergies, digestive disturbances, and abdominal problems.
• Tends to slow down aging.
• 20 minutes of rebounding = 1 hour of running for cardiovascular workout
• And it is great fun!!!
Plus, unlike many other aerobic activities, rebounding places no strain on the joints of your body. Rebounding is suitable for all ages and abilities! Stabilizing bars can be fitted which may help if you feel unsteady or are elderly, disabled or handicapped. Exercising on a rebounder trains your sense of balance and helps establish better co-ordination and kinesthetic awareness. Start with a gentle bounce, moving on to higher jumps as you gain confidence.
QUOTE: Exercising on a rebounder trains your sense of balance and helps establish better co-ordination and kinesthetic awareness.