The true health and healing benefits of rebounding is partially depicted in this Fox News story about Travis Mills.
In the video you see a clip of Sgt. Mills doing his rebounding exercises on a mini trampoline as part of his fitness regime as he focuses on his road to recovery.
The rebounder, or mini trampoline, is a phenomenal piece of exercise equipment that is often overlooked.
Part of the reason why it is so quickly dismissed is because they are relatively inexpensive and they don’t get the credit they deserve for the calorie burning power they do have.
Depending on how much you weigh and how vigorous you are using the rebounder – you can burn 4 – 5 calories a MINUTE!
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Rebounding Used for Healing
A few years ago a massage therapist told me about a specialized part of their practice devoted to women who had a radical mastectomy of one or both breasts due to breast cancer. After a radical mastectomy some of the lymph nodes are removed from the armpits when the cancer has spread.
This removal of the lymph nodes causes a disruption in the normal flow of the lymph fluid and can cause Lymphedema which is when the lymph fluid begins to build up and cause swelling around the affected area.
The special type of massage would help these women and their lymph system to maintain a healthy function by assisting the flow of the fluid and drainage from the remaining nodes.
Rebounding was great for encouraging the flow of lymph fluids (which I’ll get to in a minute) – so seeing Sgt. Mills physical therapy on the mini-trampoline makes sense. He is getting two very important health benefits from the rebounding exercise;
1. A cardiovascular workout and
2. assisting the function of a severely interrupted lymph system.
Rebounding on a Mini-Trampoline for Health
The simple activity of jumping up and down on a rebounder actually has an effect on all the organs in the body. Because the lymph systems primary role is to support the immune function, it’s very important to keep it in good shape. Anyone who has had swollen lymph nodes in the throat from infected tonsils, or impacted teeth, knows how quickly the immune system reacts to infections including the swelling in the local lymph nodes.
The Lymph system is made up of a series of vessels and ducts and is filled with fluid. It is a defence against infection, bacteria, virus and disease. It helps to remove the infection and cleans the body of toxins when it is functioning properly.
What is quite unique about this whole system is it does NOT have a pulse. The draining of the lymph nodes, and flow of the lymph fluid is all done by body movement.
One question is – will assisting the movement of lymph fluid make a person feel better?
What is the Lymphatic System?
The Lymph system can only flow one way. Throughout the system are little valves that prevent the fluid from flowing backwards.
When you bounce or jump rope there are important changes that are happening to your body that enhance the movement of lymph fluid. Jumping up and down causes a change in the usual gravitational pull your body experiences. When you push up with your body to force yourself away from the ground – you are actually increasing the G-force to your entire system by up to 2 or 3x what your body is usually subjected to.
Another uncommon effect you will experience is just at the top of your jump – for a millisecond – you are completely weightless. It is at this point of weightlessness your valves will open and on the way down the fluid will rush forward carrying with it the waste and toxins safety away from your organs.
Push off again, the increased G-force closes the valves until you reach the top of your jump where they open again and the fluid rushes forward.
How Rebounding Cleans up and Unblocks Lymph System
The Lymph system is an important waste system. Similar to bowel function it can get sluggish and become toxic if impaired. If the Lymph system isn’t removing the waste and bacteria from the body as it should, these infections can enter the blood stream and infect the rest of the body.
Having an unhealthy Lymphatic system has been tied to many diseases and unhealthy symptoms that include everything from Cancer to Eczema. Possibly the more common conditions that people suffer from as a result of having jammed up Lymph system are fatigue, allergies, and inflammation that leads to difficulty in weight loss.
As a matter of fact – there is scientific research done by one of the worlds leading authorities on the Lymphatic System that has been published suggesting there is a link between “lymphatic vasculature dysfunction as a cause of adult-onset obesity” Dr. Natasha Harvey (2005)
You can read about the 2005 published paper on obesity and the Lymphatic system here.
Rebounding and Weight Loss
The study linked to above has lead to some engaging debates in the science community. One such debate has been published and makes for an interesting read where Dr. N Harvey supports her findings.
For an interesting read and recount of the debate between the author of the scientific study and other esteemed persons in the medical community – you can read what they think about the links between obesity and the Lymphatic System.
In that document Dr. N Harvey reminds us of the importance of fat to our immune function. Although we often consider fat a problem – it is an energy resource and the fat that forms around the Lymph is arguably stored energy that is needed by our immune system to power its responses when required.
How Rebounding Helps You Lose Weight
Having a clean system is important for promoting normal metabolic function. Meaning, improved calorie burning ability. Having a sluggish metabolism can be improved with simple rebounding activities. The activity of jumping on the mini trampoline helps to clean up the Lymph system and is also a muscle building and cardiovascular activity.
Rebounding – The Triple-Threat
One – Rebounding promotes a healthy lymphatic system. Carries out toxins for normal healthy organs and metabolic function.
Two – Jumping up and down is a cardiovascular activity. It promotes heavier breathing and the arm and leg movement will pump the blood and increase heart rate. This in turn will burn off more calories than just walking will.
Three – The low-impact jumping will also build leg and butt muscles and strengthen the core. Starting slow (recommended below) but as you improve your balance and stamina you can really drive your heals into the mat and build those butts.
Four – And on top of that – its a hoot! 🙂
Getting Started on the Mini Trampoline
First a word of CAUTION!
Please do not buy a cheap trampoline. Check the weight limits of the rebounder you are looking at. Most aren’t rated very high.
There are brands that are good for up to 400 lbs so just be careful while shopping and deciding on what you want to get. At the bottom of this post is a list of the highest rated trampolines on the market today. The more rugged the equipment the more expensive it is but a worthy investment. This is one piece of exercise equipment that not only will help you jump-start your weight loss but will be something you can use for a long time into the future too.
When you first start on the trampoline be cautious. Especially if you have been away from exercise for a long time there are a few things to consider.
– The trampoline surface is not a stable surface so you might need to ensure you have support close by to reach out to if you feel a little unbalanced.
– In the beginning you won’t be exercising for 30 minutes. Older persons might want to try 2 – 3 minutes at a time and others up to 5 minutes. Rebounding isn’t difficult but it is doing more to your body than you might realize at the time so start slow.
– Keep the jumping low in the beginning. Just little mini-bounces with the toes keeping contact with the trampoline and lifting the heels just a little. The reason for starting low and slow is because our organs have connecting tissues that need to be strengthened to absorb impact. Any woman who has had a hysterectomy has been warned about taking the time to allow the connective tissues of their bladder heal or they could experience a prolapsed bladder.
Try rebounding barefoot or wearing well fitting non-slip socks. You can jump on your trampoline several times a day for short intervals if you feel up to it.
Other Benefits of Rebounding
Along with weight loss and a healthy body comes some other great benefits including being more energized. What other activity can you do for just 5 minutes that will perk you up this much?
The Snowball Effect
Feeling better and happier, improved digestion, and even slowing the signs of aging have all been linked to the simple activity of jumping up and down for a few minutes a day on a trampoline.
Conclusion – to Rebound or Not to Rebound?
I think the best example of the benefits of rebounding is by the example of Sgt. Travis Mills in the above video. Regardless of your fitness level you can benefit – even if you have to start by sitting.
On a personal note – I do have a mini-trampoline and love it.
I notice I feel more energized all day long if I jump on it in the morning for just 20 minutes. This translates into feeling more like going to the gym later and increases the desire to maintain a (mostly) healthy lifestyle.
Which Rebounder to Buy?
Make sure that whatever one you get is ok for your weight. The better ones do cost more but they have guarantees. Verify the warranty with the company first but most are good for 30 day with 100% refund if you aren’t happy.
This means you can try it for 30 days and if then you don’t feel like it wss worth the money then you just return it.
This is the Maximus Pro Rebounder – good for up to 130kg (286lbs)
The Ultimate ReboundAIR Quarter Fold – rated for up to 400 lbs
And the JumpSport Fitness Trampoline Model 570 PRO Professional Trampoline – warrantied for up to 300 lbs
Of course – if you are feeling up to something unique and can take everywhere – check out the new Kangoo Jumps! These are awesome!