We all know exercise is a big component to better health. So, how do we get more people up and moving while having fun at the same time? The answer is rebounding, or in simple terms bouncing on a mini trampoline. Not only is rebounding healthy for you, it’s appropriate for all ages from toddlers to grandparents. When exercise is disguised as something fun or playful, it becomes more likely that it will be done regularly, willingly, and for the long term.
Rebounding uses acceleration, deceleration, and vertical gravitational forces (gravity when you jump and ground reaction forces when you land) to challenge, load, and train every muscle and cell in your body with each bounce. In between landing and hitting the top of your bounce, there is also a brief moment of weightlessness on the body where joints, muscles, and organs are temporarily relieved from their typical stress and strain. Combine that with the shock absorption of the coiled springs or bungee cords attached to the rebounder’s mat and you have a unique, low impact activity that anyone can enjoy. Rebounding is also easily customizable. Click here for 5 effective moves to try on a rebounder.
Aside from being loads of fun, rebounding has many health benefits and here are 5 reasons why you should consider adding rebounding to your regular exercise routine:
- Strengthens the Musculoskeletal System by increasing muscle strength and bone density- A popular study done by NASA has demonstrated that rebounding helps reverse osteoporosis or demineralization of bones through the low impact, repetitive, weight bearing gravitational forces applied which help not only astronauts but those with arthritis or deconditioning. The loading and unloading of muscles also increases strength yet the gravitational forces are even throughout the body minimizing injury or potential rupture of muscles, ligaments or tendons.
- Helps the cardiopulmonary system- The repetitive contraction and relaxation of every muscle helps to mimic a pump on veins and arteries lowering blood pressure and decreasing the overall workload to the heart. The heart, being a muscle, also starts to gain strength and endurance after regular rebound activity, helping to lower blood pressure and resting heart rate over time. It is also known to lower bad cholesterol and help raise the good cholesterol levels in the body. It is even gentle enough to be used effectively for cardiac rehabilitation patients. Due to increased lung capacity and improved respiration, there is more oxygen available in the blood for all of our tissues.
- Aids all aspects of the vestibular system– The vertical forces, vibration, soft surface, and ability to do 3D movement with your upper/lower body helps improve balance, proprioception, coordination, and reaction time. It is also one of the few things that can effectively strengthen eye muscles and improve vision.
- Digestive system enhanced- Vertical loading/unloading helps with intestinal peristalsis to minimize constipation and improve elimination while enhancing the digestive process.
- Boosts Immunity and supports the lymphatic system- Lymph travels through one way vessels bringing nutrients to cells and carrying waste and toxins away but has no pump in its system. Therefore, it requires muscle contraction, gravitational pressure, and massage to the valves of the lymph ducts all of which are uniquely achieved by rebounding. Rebounding increases lymph flow 15-30 times which boosts immunity and fights off illness/disease by making our cells cleaner and leaving the body feeling healthy and energized.
Albert E. Carter gymnast, two time Olympic qualifying wrestler, author, and the person considered to be the pioneer of rebounding probably sums rebounding up the best in a quote from his book The Miracle of Rebound Exercise: “Rebound exercise is the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man.” I hope you give it a try and happy rebounding to you and yours!
Looking to buy a mini trampoline? Please visit our Shop page and use the savings code ATH1 at checkout for 10% off your total purchase!
Lori Diamos was a physical therapist at Athletico Physical Therapy at the time of this blog.