Most people looked at me a bit cross-eyed when I told them that I got a rebounder (or mini-trampoline) for Mother’s Day last year. I could almost hear them thinking Isn’t she a little old to be playing on a trampoline? Truth is, I had been wanting a rebounder for some time, mostly because I thought that it seemed like a fun form of cardio to complement my yoga practice.
Once I began doing some research on rebounding, however, I realized that there are many benefits to rebounding that go way beyond cardiovascular conditioning. In fact, rebounding has powerful detoxifying, strengthening and energizing effects on the body. And It’s especially beneficial for us over 40 gals, as it addresses two of our major health concerns – loss of bone mass and hormonal balance.
How? Well here’s where things gets really interesting
(albeit, a bit nerdy!)…
Rebounding gained popularity in the 1980”s, when it was discovered by NASA that astronauts who had experienced bone and muscle loss after being in space, could reverse this damage and recover bone and muscle mass safely and effectively by rebounding. The reason is that rebounding uses the forces of acceleration and deceleration, which affects cells on the deepest level and allows for cellular regeneration.
Here’s what happens when we bounce on a rebounder: there is (1) acceleration as we go up, (2) a split-second of weightlessness at the top, (3) deceleration at an increased G-force (a force acting on the body as a result of gravity or acceleration) as we go down and, finally, (4) impact as we land on the rebounder. When we land, we are exposed to both the force of the deceleration and the force of gravity, which causes the body to react as it the gravitational pull of the earth has been increased. Every cell in the body is stressed by this and is forced to strengthen itself – its membranes, cytoplasm, mitochondria, etc. Much the way we stress a muscle to build it and strengthen it, we are giving our cells the same kind of workout.
My research revealed seven major benefits of rebounding, some of which seemed obvious to me and some which I found quite astounding. Check this list out…
- strengthens the heart, increases respiratory capacity and improves circulation and oxygenation of tissues.
- tones muscles.
- increases bone density and strengthens the entire musculoskeletal system.
- detoxifies the body by supporting the lymphatic system.
- balances hormones by supporting the endocrine system, including the thyroid and adrenals.
- boosts the immune system by strengthening cells and promoting tissue repair.
- improves balance and coordination by stimulating the vestibule in the middle ear.
- improves mood by encouraging the release of endorphins (the FUN factor!)
The more I read, the more convinced I became that rebounding would be a perfect addition to my exercise regime. I set my rebounder up on the deck in my backyard and used it for about 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a week.
And now, having done it for a while, I can report that it’s not only a great workout, but it’s an instant mood adjuster (I mean, who can possibly be in a bad mood while jumping up and down on a trampoline?!). I’m hooked!
If you’ve used a rebounder or would like to, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below and share your thoughts and experiences.
Have a wonderful, Wellegant™ weekend!