by Cindy Brotherston, CFT
The benefits of rebounding were discovered by Dr. C. Samuel West, but it was an ex-professional wrestler named Albert Carter who took advantage of the information and published a book called The Miracle of Rebound Exercise. Carter and his family were regular users of the trampoline, and though they did little else in the way of exercise, they discovered they were stronger, fitter, and better balanced than other people. Carter’s daughter was able to beat boys at arm wrestling. Carter’s own heart rate at rest was 36 beats per minute!
Dr. West realized that trampolining uses three powerful forces: gravity, acceleration, and deceleration. Your body automatically strengthens itself to cope with the worst conditions that are presented to it. So, if you constantly expose your body to 1&1/2 times the force of gravity 1 1/2G, it will strengthen itself to cope with the stress. And the amazing thing is that every cell in the body is exposed to the same forces and they all strengthen accordingly.
At the top of the bounce, your body becomes completely weightless, and then as you reach the bottom of the bounce, you experience the force of 1 1 /2G (1.5 times the force of gravity). This stimulates the lymphatic system into greater efficiency in the clearing of waste matter in the body and in the effectiveness of the immune system.
This exercise has been studied by the space agency NASA and found to be 68% more oxygen efficient than other forms of exercise. What that means is that you can exercise quite vigorously on a trampoline without feeling out of breath but still gain the same benefits you would from jogging on pavement.
This is good news for people who just can’t go running because of health reasons, such as arthritis.
It avoids shinsplints and knee problems associated with exercise on a hard surface. It also has the beneficial effect of restoring bone mass and can actually stop osteoporosis from getting any worse.
Some other surprising benefits have been reported:
Allergies – People with allergies reported that after regular use of a mini trampoline, many, and in some cases all, of their allergies were reduced or gone altogether. The effect on allergies took several months of regular rebounding, but their bodies were being much strengthened during the process.
Arthritis – Extensive tests have shown that this exercise is helpful in treating patients with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. The relief felt by arthritis patients can often be dramatic. However, those who suffer from arthritis must not overdo it but must only bounce gently for a few minutes 2 or 3 times a day. Bouncing can take the place of jogging but still gives the same benefits. This exercise will prevent excess calcium loss from the spine and other major bones, and thereby bring about dramatic improvement in arthritis sufferers.
Asthma – People with asthma, because of its nature, often have difficulty performing activities that require an elevated heart rate and heavy breathing. Because it is more oxygen efficient than other forms of exercise, many asthma sufferers can do it and feel better as they become more fit. Again, going gently is the way to do it.
Back Problems – Rebounding strengthens the back without the undue strain that you would experience running on a hard surface.
Balance – This exercise improves balance and coordination because the surface of the rebounder flexes in all directions, and therefore gives optimal stimulation to your body’s balancing mechanisms.
Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Circulation – This exercise strengthens the heart muscle and all of the cells of the body. The stronger the heart muscle, the less work it has to do to pump blood throughout the body. At the same time, the strengthened muscles of the body become more efficient at using oxygen, and therefore, require less of it. The stimulation of the lymphatic system becomes more efficient at clearing waste, such as cholesterol, from the system. This can result in a reduction in blood pressure and also help with varicose veins.
Colds and Sore Throats – Use of a rebounder stimulates the lymphatic/immune system, and brief frequent intervals of gentle rebounding, maybe four or five times a day, have actually been shown to stop the onset of colds and sore throats in some studies.
Diabetes – The symptoms of diabetes can definitely be reduced with exercise, in fact, many Type 2 Diabetes patients are prescribed exercise by their doctors as a way to control the problem. Rebounding is a form of exercise that is non-strenuous, suitable for any age, and has been shown to help in the control of blood sugar levels.
Injury Reduction – Studies have shown that 27% to 70% of joggers get hurt in their first year of running. The impact forces that cause these injuries can be reduced by 80% with the use of rebound shoes such as Kangoo Jumps. In fact, a study done in Canada produced an impact injury rate of 0% using Kangoo Jumps.
Increased Metabolism – Regular rebound exercise will cause the base metabolic rate to become increasingly more efficient, resulting in noticeable improvements in muscle tone and weight management. In fact, we are actually retraining each cell to perform as it did when we were younger. Once we have reset our metabolism, we will burn more calories at a higher rate and will not regain weight if we continue to bounce.
Increased Energy – This non-strenuous physical activity has the same benefit as some of the much more strenuous exercises without the exhaustion. You will enjoy an incredibly high level of energy right away and feel relaxed.
Natural Face Lift – Each cell of your body is like a balloon. This exercise puts them repeatedly under stress as they need to resist the increased G force (when the balloon reaches the maximum elongation). Over time, the cell’s membrane gets thicker, thus firmer, and gains elasticity. Our skin is a community of cells. Therefore, regular use of a mini-trampoline will firm your skin and increase its elasticity.
Building Bone Mass – The NASA study also showed that this was the best exercise to rebuild the lost bone tissue of astronauts whose continued weightless state caused them to lose up to 15% bone mass in only 2 weeks in space. This same exercise can be used by anyone (especially women) to prevent osteoporosis, and it actually reverses the damage.
Strengthening of the Spine – “Rebounding has a positive influence on spinal and intervertebral disc health by providing maximum spinal imbibition. This, of course, is essential for the proper transfer of nutrients into the disc and the removal of metabolic waste products out of the disc, thereby maintaining and restoring intervertebral health and function.” Dr. David Love, D.C. – Capitola, California
Fighting Depression and Stress – The positive effects on stress levels have been studied in depth. Dr. Morton Walker, in his book “Jumping for Health”, pages 82-91, describes 30 Specific Anti-stress Benefits of Rebounding (Avery Publishing Group Inc., Garden City Park, New York)