Who doesn’t love a good bounce on a trampoline? It’s exhilarating, it’s delightful—and, apparently, it’s really good exercise. Rebounding (the official exercise term for ‘jumping on a trampoline’) has been part of the wellness scene for awhile now, with the first mini-trampoline being created in 1938 (!) and then patented by Victor Green in 1975. And while bouncing (another official exercise term for ‘jumping on a trampoline’) reached peak popularity in the early eighties, there has been a recent resurgence in considering rebounding an effective exercise for weight management and physical therapy. Why? Easy: You get all of the physical benefit of said exercise without the physical trauma to the physical structure of the body other workouts (running, for one) may inflict.
I discovered the rebounder (that mini-trampoline you see at gyms here and there) in 2014 after approaching my fiftieth birthday and making the decision that, if I was to ever get my body healthy, it was now or never. Yet having battled Fibromyalgia for over half of my life and knowing it was almost impossible for me to maintain the usual regimes offered by my local gym, I knew I had to do some research to see what was out there. I needed something that was low impact—something that wasn’t going to overly fatigue me with detrimental effects—but still yielded maximum benefits.
Rebounding, as it turns out, was my answer. The exercise is relatively gentle on the body: It alleviates added stress on the skeleton, and protects the joints against the impact of exercising on a hard surface. But even (or just as) better? Rebounding can be twice as effective as running on a treadmill, according to research conducted by NASA. And with just a few minutes of bouncing each day, the body reaps some seriously great benefits, like a boost to the immune system and a stimulated metabolism. Bouncing also promotes body growth and repair, and detoxifies the body by aiding lymphatic drainage. It supports the cardiovascular system, helps for greater relaxation and encourages sleep. And it also enhances the digestive system, thus aiding elimination of toxins.
So what, exactly, is involved in bouncing? Just that: Bouncing. Literally bouncing on the trampoline—er, rebounder. I initially started out just gently bouncing for a few minutes while waiting for the kettle to boil (figuratively and literally); my feet never left the trampoline and I remember thinking that this really couldn’t be doing too much for me. My balance on the rebounder wasn’t great, so I used the handlebar for stability. However, within a very short space of time, I noticed that my stamina had increased and that my balance had improved to the point that I didn’t need the aid of the handlebar anymore. I felt energized, as opposed to fatigued.
I progressed to being able to comfortably bounce for 30 minutes twice a day, and soon was even able to attempt some turns, star jumps and jumping jacks. I felt great, full stop. All of this, too, accomplished in a relatively small amount of time and money, and in the comfort of my own home.
Rebounders are fairly easy to find, and can be purchased from many bigger stores. (I use the Pro Gym Rebounder.) If you haven’t bounced before, I suggest getting a rebounder with a stability bar; it can be a little disorientating initially, but, with practice, that soon disappears.
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