By Amanda Haley, L.M.T.
My favorite exercise is jumping on a mini trampoline – yes a rebounder. Mostly because it is fun! Secondly because it is a great form of exercise that increases the metabolism to help you burn fat while also stimulating the lymphatic system. Rebounding is reported to increase lymph flow by 15 to 30 times.
There are channels called “vessels” that the lymph fluid moves through. These are one way valve vessels – always moving in the same direction. The largest vessels go up the legs, up the arms and up the torso. The movement of rebounding – up and down – is the pump for this one way valve to move the lymph in such an effective way.
Rebounding helps stimulate the immune system and so much more! NASA did a study – and found that rebounding stimulated the heart and metabolism better than running. Now as astronauts use rebounding as part of their training to prepare for space.
As a massage therapist, I know people will pay top dollar to get a specific modality called Lymphatic Drainage. When my clients ask me for that treatment – I tell them they can pay me to do it or they can purchase a rebounder and have the the luxury of doing it themselves and receive all the other benefits that come along with rebounding.
Have you ever noticed how children will jump on couches – beds – anything that will give them a spring? Why do they do this? Well it’s fun – but it also feels good and makes them happy.
The mini-trampoline creates gravitational pulls on the body ranging from zero at the top of each bounce (the fun feeling) to 2 – 3 times the force of gravity at the bottom, depending on how high the person is rebounding; that’s where the muscle work comes to play.
Running can put weight bearing stress on muscles where as rebounding affects every joint and cell in the body equally; not just one muscle group but every muscle in the body, even the face. People that are heavier will find rebounding to be a much easier exercise when they start compared to traditional exercises.
After giving birth to our 4 child – I needed to find an exercise I could do at home with the kids around, at any time! I wanted to tone the belly sag and also the internal “Kegel”muscles that get stretched and damaged from having kids. I had heard about rebounding – but I thought it was a big craze in the 70’s. I pictured Richard Simmons jumping and ladies in the background with big scrunchie socks and spandex.
But I researched on the internet and found a rebounder of a reasonable price that I would recommend to people just getting started and not wanting to invest too much money. The Cellerciser is a great beginning rebounder for about $350. I used mine for about 2 years straight. It gives an equal bounce and was “kind on the spine” as I like to say. I would not recommend going to a cheap outlet store and buying the cheap version. You will spend more money on a Chiropractor trying to fix your spine.
In my research I found the Bellicon Rebounder, but didn’t want to spend $800+ for a trampoline when I didn’t know if I was going to like it enough to continue to use it. But after 2 years, I realized I loved this exercise and knew that I had a long enough track record that I could ask my husband to invest the money.
Boy am I glad I upgraded! The first time I bounced on my Bellicon rebounder – it was like going from driving an old mini-van – to a luxury sedan. The smoothness of the bounce – but also the difference in the depth and height of the bounce made all the difference in the lymphatic and gravitational pull. The work out was much more intense- yet even easier on the body.
As Michael will demonstrate – when you first start rebounding it is recommended to do a simple bounce – never letting your feet leave the mat – Focus on your body posture, tilting the pelvis, and feet pronation. Do this simple bounce for 2 minutes 3 times a day for a week to begin. This will train the body and supporting muscle structure so that you will be ready for more intense work in the future. This won’t be in vain – that simple exercise will do more to help rid the body of toxins than a $90 Lymphatic Drainage Massage.
You will increase your oxygen intake and feel better after just 2 minutes. When you feel that your body is ready for more – the sky is the limit in variety! There are videos on YouTube from Bellicon and others that have great workouts of all kinds. I like to crank up the music – have some fun and make the kids laugh at their crazy Momma.
One more benefit – if you have children – you can’t keep them off the rebounder – they just love it! We home school our children and I do memory drills while the kids bounce and catch balls- it is a great way to help them learn.