What Is Rebounding?
A rebounder is actually a mini-trampoline. Costs for rebounders range from $30 to $300, and most are 3 to 4 feet in diameter. Some users just jump on them for a few minutes a day, while others perform extensive aerobic workouts or follow rebounding DVD exercise routines.
Many rebounder models offer a stabilizer bar, which is helpful for individuals who have balance issues or may injure themselves due to falling on or off the rebounder. Special hard-bounce models are available for higher weight people, with the soft-bounce standard models being sufficient for most people’s purposes.
Some health and fitness clubs are offering rebounding classes, though many people prefer the convenience of rebounding at home.
The Benefits of Rebounding
The lymph system clears waste and excess fluids from the body’s tissues and organs. Unlike the circulatory system, which has the heart to pump blood through the body, the lymph system has no pump of its own. Thus the lymph can stagnate, reducing the drainage of fluids and wastes from tissues.
When this happens, fluid accumulates around cells, which decreases their ability to take in nutrients and release waste substances. Cell death and poor circulation can result. The proteins that accumulate can reduce the efficiency of organs, block blood flow to bones and muscles, and bring about pain.
There are ways, however, to increase the flow of lymph and prevent stagnation. Lymph movement and drainage requires muscle movement, internal massage of the lymph valves, and pressure from gravity. Rebounding is an excellent way to accomplish all these things.
As a person bounces on a rebounder, the body actually is subjected to increased gravity. At the bottom of the bounce, the gravity can be up to four times normal gravity. The body and its cells thus adapt to this increase in effective weight by getting stronger. The skeletal and circulatory systems are both affected. Benefits of rebounding include reductions in varicose veins and hemorrhoids, as well as improved digestion and elimination.
People who use rebounders regularly often experience health benefits such as improved sleep, reduced body fat, and increased energy and agility. It is also is believed to help prevent heart attacks by strengthening the circulatory system, and to stimulate metabolism, reduce cholesterol, and boost endocrine and immune function.
Health practitioners recommend this type of exercise for general health, as well as for addressing specific health challenges such as arthritis symptoms. Rebounding can also help improve balance. It does not burn calories at as high a rate as aerobics or running, but is easier on the knees and feet. It helps tone and strengthen the whole body.
This exercise does not need to be done in large amounts to provide health benefits. In their book "Everything You Should Know about Chelation Therapy," Drs. Morton Walker and Hitendra Shah describe the "health bounce": keeping the feet on the trampoline mat while using the toes and calf muscles to bounce up and down. Individuals who are ready for a more extensive workout can do high bounces, do jumping jacks, or run in place on the rebounder.
Beginning rebounders should start out with 5 to 10 minutes of rebounding a day, and increase gradually. Some people experience sore ankles when they first start out. The effects are cumulative, so you can spread your daily workout out over several sessions.
Women should be sure to wear a supportive sports bra. Rebounders need a good fitness shoe or can go barefoot. Using socks only is not recommended due to the increased likelihood of slipping.
For more information about keeping your lymph system healthy and flowing, check out this article on lymph massage.
Sources & Resources
Everything You Should Know About Chelation Therapy, Morton Walker, DPM & Hitendra H. Shah, MD (1997)
Never Be Sick Again: Health Is a Choice, Learn How to Choose It, Raymond Francis, Harvey Diamond & Kester Cotton (2002)
Fit Not Fat at 40-Plus, Prevention Health Books for Women (2002)