Rebounding or cellercising is the seemingly simple exercise of jumping on a mini trampoline. With cumulating research demonstrating its phenomenal health effects, rebounding has grown in popularity as both a singular exercise and cross-training activity. But I have a confession to make: as a fitness-enthusiast, the first time I saw someone rebounding, my eyebrows moved up with shock and I crunched my lips together to hold in a burst of giggles. As the instructor demonstrated the exercise by exuberantly bouncing up and down with hair askew, I couldn’t help but think “this silly jumping couldn’t possibly be helpful.” When I left the session, I dismissed the exercise as “definitely not for me.” Yet over time, I found myself thinking about it, intrigued by the idea that this basic movement could have such profound proclaimed health implications. As I began to delve into the science behind it, I realized that rebounding is definitely not something to laugh about! The unique activity actually offers deep cellular reinvigoration that even the most rigorous physical training cannot otherwise provide. Rebounding may just be one of the most efficient, fun and frequently overlooked ways to tone the entire body, while reaping benefits that extend far beyond physique.
How does Rebounding Work?
We are all familiar with the idea of jumping leisurely and gleefully on a trampoline, but few are aware that bouncing up and down this way actually has profound detoxifying, energizing and strengthening effects on the body. In order to fully comprehend the intricate advantages rebounding offers, it is first crucial to understand the dynamic science that supports such an elementary movement.
Think about your day. Most of our time living and exercising is experienced on the horizontal plane as we sit at work, walk down the street, jog etc. Rebounding is unique in that takes our energy into the vertical axis, so that the beneficial forces of gravity related to acceleration (g-forces) can be accessed to maximize impact on the body. Let’s look at the physics involved in one jump on the trampoline:
As one bounces upward, speed increases causing acceleration. At the top of the bounce, there is a short period of time during which one is suspended feeling virtually weightless. At this time the mechanical stressors that cause pressure and irritation in the bodies when one stands, are lifted, allowing for cellular decompression and tension relief.
Returning to the bottom of the bounce, one decelerates and the body momentarily stops as the feet sink into the trampoline. During this split second, one is exposed to the joint forces of deceleration and gravity, causing the body to react as though the gravitational pull of the earth has actually been increased. This dynamic impact forces the cells to adapt, thus strengthening them over time.
In summary, rebounding is plainly a matter of harnessing the natural energies that are inherent in our world to use to our advantage. When g-force is strong, the body must also become strong. Furthermore, when rebounding the pace easily settles at around 100 bounces per minute, meaning that the body is able to benefit from multiple mechanical acceleration/deceleration cycles. This unique, oscillating pattern allows for the synergistic development of both power and flexibility, while providing aerobic gain to each of the trillions of cells in the body. The process of rebounding thus also works to quicken the movement of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, enzymes and wastes through the cells, for complete cellular cleansing.
20 Benefits of Rebounding
With all of this science under our belts, the observable advantages of rebounding are more believable and understood. The following list is from Dr. Morton Walker, M.D. as explained in his book Jumping for Health. Hopefully now when considering this extensive list, you will have a greater appreciation for how these arise in the body:
1) Increases respiratory capacity
2) Circulates greater oxygen to tissues
3) Creates higher equilibrium between tissue oxygen need and oxygen availability
4) Greatly enhances muscular and valvular fluid exchange, lightening the heart’s workload
5) Tends to reduce levels of arterial blood pressure during exercise
6) Lessens the higher blood-pressure period after exercise
7) Increases red-cell production activity of the bone marrow (raising oxygen-delivery capacity)
8) Aids venous blood flow as well as lymph flow (enhancing waste-cleansing)
9) Strengthens heart muscle and other muscles, causing them to work with greater efficiency
10) Stimulates metabolic activity
11) Promotes growth and tissue repair
12) Tones the endocrine system, especially the thyroid, to increase output
13) Enhances the body’s alkaline reserve for potential emergency output
14) Conserves physical strength and efficiency
15) Improves coordination through enhanced transmission of nerve impulses and muscle response
16) Produces vigor through increased muscle fiber tone
17) Provides relief from neck and back pains, headaches and pains due to poorly toned physiology
18) Enhances digestion and elimination
19) Stimulates lymph flow for increased immunity and cold/allergy prevention
20) Creates purer sleep and relaxation
Giving it a Try!
As with many things we encounter, the very best way to understand rebounding is to put it into action and experiment with it. As a compliment to your current fitness plan or a stand alone activity, you can start with a simple jump routine for just 10 minutes a day. When you start out, nothing fancy is required- just naturally bouncing around will provide wide ranging benefit. After that, the creative possibilities are endless. If you want to learn more about the rebounding, read chapter 4 of Secrets of Radiant Living: Cellular Fitness by Joseph Marcello and Why I Love to Cellercise by Christapher Cogswell. For practical information on the best type of rebounder to purchase, exercise DVDs and more, visit the Fitness Section of Radiant Life's website. Who knows, if you are like me, you might just stumble upon a new enjoyable way to get activity into your day that is unique from anything you have ever tried before!
Rebounding to Better Health by Linda Brooks
Looking Good, Feeling Great by Karol Kuhn Truman
Photo: Jump! by Annita Nyber Courtesy Flickr
Jump for Joy by Dr. James R. White
The New Miracles of Rebound Exercise by Albert E. Carter