I can’t help but to smile when I’m rebounding. There is just something about bouncing on a trampoline that brings out my inner child. My heart feels lighter, and so does my body. It’s really an incredible feeling.
This time of year, I have a very difficult time convincing myself that outdoor exercise needs to happen. In fact, I can barely remember the last time I went out for a run. My body and mind just don’t handle cold weather very well, so I need to find alternative forms of exercise so that I can keep my body moving through the fall and winter. I love yoga, but also love to combine it with some time on the rebounder for some extra cardio and movement.
Rebounding hasn’t quite made it into the mainstream yet, but I’d like to encourage you to give it a try. If more people know how fun, easy, and beneficial it was to spend some time on the trampoline, I’m sure they’d be lining up to try it.
What is rebounding?
Rebounding is a cool word that refers to jumping on a mini trampoline for the purpose of exercise. It is usually performed 10-20 minutes at a time, up to 30 minutes a day.
What are the benefits of rebounding?
+ Detoxifies the body. Rebounding increases lymph flow by up to 15%, which helps to cleanse your system, but assisting your body in moving waste and toxins out of the body. Unlike blood, lymph cannot circulate itself. It requires physical exercise, particularly rebounding, to get it in motion.
+ Boosts the immune system. Certain components of your immune system, like T-lymphocytes and macrophages, usually slowly swim themselves through the body to wherever they are needed. The movement of rebounding helps to propel these cells so they can reach their destination more quickly, meaning they can make a faster job of attacking and destroying whatever has invaded your body. (Then your sped up lymph system carries it out!)
Increased blood flow also means that more oxygen in reaching your cells. Disease cannot live in an oxygenated environment.
+ Increases your energy. Performing aerobic exercise, like rebounding, for more than 20 minutes a day, helps to increase the number of mitochondria in your cells. Mitochondria are like the power plants of the cell, and the more mitochondria you have, the more energy you will have.
Rebounding also helps to stimulate the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands, all of which will help you to be more energized.
+ Tones your muscles. The gravitational force causes increased stress on your muscles, helping them to become more toned.
+ Lowers risk of heart disease. It can also help with pre-existing heart conditions. Rebounding helps to tone the muscles that make up the heart and blood vessels, causing them to work more efficiently. It is especially beneficial for lowering high blood pressure. Also helps develop a lower resting heart rate.
+ Increases all organ function. All of your cells are strengthened by the motion of rebounding. This causes all of your organs to increase their performance, and work more efficiently to keep you healthy.
+ Slows aging. Much of aging is cause by decline in the performance of your heart and circulatory system. Rebounding keeps them in good condition, keeping you and your cells looking younger and healthier.
+ Increases metabolism. Rebounding helps your body to burn calories more efficiently, even after exercise is complete.
+ Good for your joints. The pliant surface of the rebounder causes less impact on your joints than exercise on hard ground. If you have joint issues, this might be a great form of exercise for you!
+ Aids elimination. The motion of rebounding, coupled with increased muscle tone in the bowel, helps to keep you regular.
+ Reduces stress. As I said in the introduction, it’s pretty hard to jump on a trampoline without smiling. Plus, as with any aerobic exercise, serotonin is released into the brain, causing a happy, calming effect. This occurs while you exercise, and lasts throughout the rest of the day.
+ Improves your coordination and balance. Rebounding improves communication between your brain, nerves, muscles, and joints, causing them to work together more fluidly. It also helps your brain to respond more efficiently to the vestibular apparatus, the tiny part in the inner ear that provides you with your sense of balance.
How is rebounding done?
The great thing about rebounding is that all you need is a trampoline and yourself.
When you’re first starting out, I would recommend just doing 5-10 minutes at a time, until you get used to it. Eventually you can jump for up to 20 minutes, or you can try doing 10-15 minutes a few times a day.
I like to put on an upbeat album or Pandora station (Grouplove is my favorite band to rebound to), and try to jump with the beat. It doesn’t always work for every song, so don’t get frustrated if you can’t jump exactly with the music. It’s not a big deal.
Begin with a nice easy bouncing motion. You don’t even have to pick your feet off of the surface for the first few minutes, until you feel comfortable and warmed up.
As I get warmer, I increase my bounce a bit and spring my feet off of the surface.
As for arms, you can do whatever you would like with them. You can let them hang loosely and bounce all over, keep them locked close to your body, or make purposeful movements with them, like swinging them back and forth, or above your head with each bounce. Choose whatever feels most comfortable to you. You can also change throughout your workout.
During the body of your workout, changing up your movements can help keep you from getting bored, and it can also help you to get a better workout. Since I usually have music playing while I rebound, I like to jump normally during the verse of the song, then use the chorus to mix it up. During the first song, I’ll often do jumping jacks during the choruses. Other movement ideas include twisting your hips side-to-side to work your obliques, doing high knees to work your abs, and performing a cross-country skiing motion to help work other leg muscles. You don’t have to do any of these. Make up your own. Any movement will help give you the benefits listed above.
I use the last few minutes to return to a normal jumping pattern, and then to move back into the slow, easy jumping, keeping the feet on the trampoline.
Stretch out when you are finished. Your calves might need some extra attention, as they are worked out heavily in the exercise.
As for clothing, wear whatever you’re comfortable in. Larger chested ladies will probably want to wear a good-quality sports bra, and a pair of socks or sneakers on your feet will help prevent blisters from the vinyl.
If you’re looking for a rebounder, I’ve posted links under Lindsay Recommends in the right-hand column, for both an inexpensive (around $40) model by Variflex, and a more upscale (around $400) model by Needak, that my health fave guru, Kris Carr, recommends. This time of year, it’s also a great item to add to your Christmas list!
Have you ever tried rebounding? If so, have any tips to share? If not, would you give it a shot?
Affirmation of the Day: I am active.
PS. I included a song below from another band that I love to rebound to, Foster the People. I’m a huge music lover, and I feel like I should be including more music in my posts. This song has a great message whether you end up bouncing to it, or not.