Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rebounding for Better Health

I've said it before, and I'll say it again ..I love quick and easy health tips. I feel good doing them daily and knowing that I'm taking steps to making myself healthier. So as if we haven't hit enough tips already with oil pulling, neti pot fun, dry skin brushing, and daily stretching...I'm here to share about one of my favorite forms of exercise: rebounding. Rebounding is just a fancy name for jumping on a trampoline. I can remember begging my parents for a trampoline when I was younger, only to finally get it when I was too old to want to jump on it (glad you got to enjoy it little brothers!).


Fast forward several years to when I saw Crazy Sexy Cancer for the first time, and Kris Carr mentioned she was using rebounding not only as a form of exercise, but also as a tool to improve her health for the better. Really? Just by jumping on the trampoline? I was intrigued.  So I bought a cheap little trampoline from Wal-Mart for $30, and started jumping. I was surprised by how good it felt and how quickly I was out of breath! Ever since then I've been hooked. Now I took a little break when I was pregnant with Avery, but once she was born I got right back to rebounding.

I don't know about you, but jumping around on a mini trampoline for longer than 5-10 minutes sounds like the most boring workout ever, so I don't really use rebounding to take the place of my daily, hour-long workout. Instead, I try to make sure and jump for 5-10 minutes at least once a day...and on a "bonus day" I'll jump twice, in the morning and then when I get home from work. Whoa whoa...watch out now, two jump sessions, talk about waking up that lymphatic system!

It's rebounding time!

Which brings me to one of the many benefits that come from rebounding...helping to increase circulation in your lymphatic system.  I scratched the surface a bit when it comes to learning about the lymphatic system in my post about dry skin brushing, but to recap...the body has two circulatory systems, one for blood and one for lymph. The heart helps pump the blood throughout the body, but the lymph system has no pump. It relies on us to get the lymph circulating  primarily through exercise (rebounding, etc), and dry skin brushing. When the lymph system is pumping, waste and toxins are carried out and nutrients are delivered into the cells. Without this pump (from things like rebounding) the waste builds up in our cells leading to chronic ailments and illnesses. It was found that rebounding increased the lymph flow by 15-30 times! Can you believe that?! Talk about motivation to include rebounding in your daily health routine!

Other benefits that come from rebounding include:

  • zero-impact exercise that won't stress the joints
  • full body workout
  • strengthens abdominal muscles
  • enhances digestion and elimination
  • helps burn calories
  • helps decrease your resting heart rate
  • circulates oxygen to tissues and muscles in the body
  • helps promote relaxation 
  • improves quality of sleep

The list goes on and on...but enough science rambling, let's get into the basics of rebounding.

How to rebound:

  1. Step on your mini-trampoline
  2. Jump up and down
  3. Repeat daily

Easy enough right? Well, if you want to see a visual, here's me jumping around in this week's video...be sure to watch until the end so you can see the other person in my house who likes to rebound!




Now if you're a "health investigator" like me, you probably have some questions and hopefully I can answer them.

Does it matter what type of rebounder you use?
As I said, I got mine from Wal-Mart for $20 at the time, now it's up to $30...but really it's up to you. There are lots of fancy rebounders on the market and if you're game to drop $60-100 on one, then by all means go for it. But if you just want to give rebounding a try, I suggest you try one like mine. Heck, you might end up using it for years! Just a note, mine came with a counter to count my jumps, which was cool, but it broke after a month or so. It also came with resistance bands, which I've never really used...I just like the simple jumping.

My simple rebounder.

How long do you rebound/jump for?
How ever long you want to or can stand. As I said before, I usually jump for about 5-10 minutes before or after my daily workout

How do you jump?
I like to mix it up with this one...no point in jumping the exact same way for 10 whole minutes!  So I will move my arms around open and close my feet and legs, and do all kinds of different jumps from big to small to keep it entertaining. This is where you can cater it to your fitness level. Maybe you are hardcore with your cardio, so I bet you could jump fast and do lots of additional movements, where as someone who is just getting into working out would maybe just jump slowly with small, gentle movements.

How to make the time go by faster while your jumping?
Jump to some music or while you're watching TV, or you could count like I do (thanks counter that came with my rebounder for getting me stuck on this habit!). For some reason I love doing reps of 200 on the trampoline...I have no idea why I started doing it years ago, and like to jump to that number. So each time my feet hit the trampoline, I count. Once I get to 200, I take a break and start again. I continue this till I'm tired.

Any tips for someone just getting started?
Start slow. As with any new sport or physical activity, you'll probably be rip-roaring and ready to go the first time you jump because it will feel so good, so go for it...but only a little. If you go all out the first time you jump, you will be sore in places you never thought you would just by jumping on a trampoline. Personally, if I go a long period of time without jumping and then I get back into it, my lower abs get so sore from the rebounding...and yet I never would have though that I was using my abs while jumping! I guess that just goes to show that rebounding really is one rocking workout for your whole body!

But to get more specific, if you're a beginner, I'd ease in by just doing 100 jumps or less that first day and then see how you feel. Maybe you can increase it the next and or maybe you need to scale it back. Also, depending on your physical activity level, 100 may be way to much for you, so start small and slow and then work yourself up to more.

I love incorporating my arms into my
rebounding. It really makes it feel like
a "full body workout!"

When in the day should I do rebounding?
Whenever you want. Maybe you would like to start your day to some jumping, or right before lunch you could squeeze in a little "jump session" whatever works for you is fine. As long as your at least jumping once a day for 5-10 minutes it doesn't really matter. I said before I like to do it before or after a workout, depending on the type of workout I do to help me warm up or cool down.

But sometimes I use rebounding as a way to take a break from what I'm working on. Like a blog post for example! Maybe I've been sitting at my laptop for a long time and I can feel my body start to get tight, my eyes starting to hurt and my ideas starting to get stagnant...that's when I know it's time to jump. So I'll head down to my basement, jump for about 5 minutes or so, and come back to work feeling refreshed, awake, and revived. In fact, I've come up with many good ideas, blog posts and recipes while rebounding...so thanks little $30 Wal-Mart mini-trampoline, you rock!

Word to the Wise:
Ladies, this is probably common sense, but you'll probably want to be sure and wear a sports bra when you're rebounding...it's so much more comfortable this way, for obvious reasons. Nursing mamas, I'm talking to you too! (  :

So what do you think?
Does rebounding sound like something you could easily add into your daily routine, if you're not doing it already? Maybe it could take the place of your workout, or maybe it could just be used to give you a "break" from your work. I sure would love one in my preschool classroom...maybe someday. I bet my students would love that. Too bad they would have to always be kicking me off of it!

Have you ever done rebounding? Do you like it? How do you make it work with your daily routine? Do you have a favorite mini-trampoline? Any health benefits you've seen come from rebounding? Share below!

Happy jumping!





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