Bouncing Back To Health

Research shows that exercise is crucial to our mental health and wellbeing, as a result, we’re all looking for ways to stay fit and healthy. Due to the current social distancing restrictions, more and more people are seeking ways to exercise in the comfort of their homes.

Rebounding is a fantastic way to get your body fit and healthy. It appears there are endless benefits to be had from rebounding – the simple art of jumping up and down on a mini-trampoline – from flushing out toxins to increasing bone density and building muscle mass. Rebounding is an excellent way to a happier, healthier mind, heart and core. 

The Science Behind Rebounding

In the 1980s NASA carried out extensive research into what would be the best form of exercise to support the physical health and wellbeing of astronauts when they returned from outer space. Apparently when astronauts spend more than 14 days in space at zero gravity they can lose up to 15% of their bone and muscle mass. NASA’s research shows that trampolining (rebounding) helps rebuild muscle mass and strengthen bones.

A recent study, published in The International Journal of Sports Science, concluded that trampoline training (rebounding) is more effective than running in increasing maximal oxygen consumption and reducing fat %.’

How Does It Work?

Rebounding helps bring three natural forces together: lining up gravity with acceleration and deceleration. This is known as the G-Force. When you jump on a trampoline, the entire body shares the G-force impact; which can serve as strengthening resistance for our bones.

Unlike most forms of weight-bearing exercise, rebounding is extremely low impact. Therefore, it’s gentler on our joints, cartilage, and vertebrae. It’s also incredibly suitable for individuals who want to avoid high-impact cardio.

What’s The Best Way To Rebound?

While there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to bounce it’s worth noting the different benefits from ‘how’ we may bounce.

  • Health Bouncing: This is where our feet maintain contact with the surface of the rebounder as we bounce. This is a great way to stimulate the lymphatic system and help flush toxins out of the body. This is also a great way to warm our body up, inside and out. 
  • Strength Bouncing: This is where we jump lifting our feet off the surface of the rebounder. This form of bouncing is more intense than the Health Bouncing; it continues to stimulate the lymphatic system but also helps develop our core and lower body strength. 
  • Aerobic Bouncing: This is where we add aerobic movements to our routine, and as we do, we burn more calories. 

If we want to bounce for health benefits then 10 minutes is the recommended daily bounce time. If we want to bounce for weight loss then 20 minutes is the recommended daily bounce time.

Health Benefits

Improved Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system can be likened to the body’s drainage system. It works 24/7 to clean up and properly dispose of waste left behind by other body systems. A healthy lymphatic system is crucial in support of other bodily functions; helping flush toxins from the body and helps prevent or fight infections. 

As we bounce the movement causes the effect of gravity to fluctuate within our body. At the start of each bounce, we experience a sense of weightlessness in our body. At the bottom of each bounce, before we rebound, we feel much heavier than we are. When we’re rebounding our body experiences the sensation of zero-gravity. We experience this at three times the normal gravitational pull on our body, and in a very brief time. This gravitational pull helps stimulate our lymph system and the lymph organs (these include bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus). 

We can further support the release of toxins by drinking lots of healthy water after our rebounding exercise.

Stronger Body

The variation of low impact tension and relaxation as we bounce helps:

  • improve blood flow and responsiveness to our leg muscles, pelvic floor muscles and any other muscles used in aerobic movement while bouncing, building muscle mass
  • work our cardiovascular system without taxing the body
  • oxygenate our cells. Our cells need oxygen to create energy. Increased levels of oxygen give energy to both our mind and body, helping us to perform better mentally and physically
  • increases gravitational force which helps strengthen the bones
  • aids in the prevention of osteoporosis and even reverse the damage (NASA study 1980)

Boosts Stamina

Regular rebounding helps boost our stamina by:

  • building endurance, enabling us to remain active for more extended periods. Building endurance makes us more resilient in life
  • engaging the ocular and inner ear canal. This greatly enhances balance, timing, coordination, overall motor skills and reaction time
  • developing our proprioceptive receptors. Proprioception is the ability to sense the orientation and position of our body. When we move our body, our brain perceives the effort and force used, it also identifies the positions and heaviness of our movement and responds accordingly. Developing these receptors helps prevent injury

Greater Ability To Relax And Focus

Five minutes of rebounding in the morning helps ‘kick-start’ our energy for the day ahead. As we bounce up and down, we invigorate every cell in the body and flood all our cells with oxygen. Starting our day this way helps energise our body and stimulate our brainpower.

Equally, taking time out at the end of our day helps ‘bounce out’ all the stress and tension of the day. Five minutes of bouncing at the end of our day can make a big difference to our health and happiness.

Rebounding helps:

  • increase blood flow to underused muscles while loosening and releasing tension in  overused muscles
  • stimulate every cell in the body
  • release endorphins to help us feel good
  • put us back in touch with our body, allowing us to switch off stress and clear our mind
  • stay more focused and ‘present in the moment’

Supports Weight Loss

Rebounding is not ‘the magical solution’ to shedding belly fat, but when done in tandem with a healthy diet and lifestyle, it can be an excellent way to burn off calories. Rebounding jump-starts our metabolism and aids our digestion. It’s worth remembering:

  • our core has to tighten and release with every jump – more jumps mean a tighter core
  • repeated bouncing ensures legs, thighs, and buttocks get a good workout
  • added aerobic movement of the arms and waist helps tone the body and burn off more calories
  • following a strict, more intense rebounding routine supports greater weight loss

Installing New Healthier Beliefs

There are two types of energy – potential and kinetic. The energy in thought is electro-chemical – it takes a lot of energy for neurons to start firing and wiring in the brain – this is mainly potential energy. Kinetic energy comes through movement and activities such as rebounding increases kinetic energy. Potential energy can be converted into kinetic energy. Equally, kinetic energy can be converted into potential energy.

The more neuronal connections we make in relation to a thought or an affirmation the more the body believes this to be true; and the easier it will be to anchor these new beliefs into the subconscious mind. This is what happens when we bounce and affirm; we’re producing all that extra energy to energise new neuronal connections in the brain in relation to what it is we’re affirming. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t happen overnight and is achieved through a regular practice of repeated mantras and lots of bouncing. Turbocharging our affirmations in this way helps anchor our new beliefs into the subconscious mind and greatly supports us in creating the new reality we desire.

Health supporting affirmations may be as follows:

  • I AM flexible
  • I AM strong
  • I AM resilient
  • I AM healthy
  • I AM happy
  • I have a well-toned body
  • I have a healthy body
  • I have a nurtured body
  • I AM balanced and harmonious in my mind, heart and core

Feel-Good Factor

Alternatively, listening to some lively music as we bounce or singing along to our favourite cheerful, upbeat songs will help give us the ‘feel-good’ factor. Also, we won’t feel the time go by, and before we know it, we’ll have done our 10 or 20 minutes workout.

Give it a try!