Rebounding (aka Lymphasizing)
Rebounding is bouncing on a trampoline. It started in the US and was developed by NASA to help the astronauts “adapt” again on earth once their mission was complete. In outer space, unlike on earth, there is no gravity. What they found was that astronauts struggled when they were back on Mother Earth’s soil due to the effect of gravity.
Thus, rebounding started as a way to help them, and from there it branched out to everyone in the public, as a form of exercise and rehabilitation-method.
Even sitting on a Pilates ball and bouncing does the trick (by the way…think back to your childhood when you jumped on your bed!).
Rebounding is also called lymphasizing due to the role it plays in helping the lymphatic system to function optimally (unlike the heart it doesn’t pump and needs movement to work property), as well as clearing the body of toxins. The lymphatic system is the “waste basket” of the body and plays an important role in the elimination of toxic waste along the collecting vessels. The rebounder multiplies the G-force (gravitational force) system by up to 300% by putting the lymphatic channels under hydraulic pressure to move fluids containing waste produce of metabolism around and out of the body through the subclavian vein. In a nutshell; toxicity and excess mucus is cleared and the lymphatic system is able to act as the important immunity system that it is meant to be, helping the body to fight off allergies, illnesses, infections, ageing, degeneration and preventing diseases. Without an immune system functioning at its optimum level, you will be prone to illness, allergies, aches and pains in the joints, and so forth.
The benefits of rebounding are plenty. Here are a few:
- It aids in weight-loss;
- Circulates more oxygen through the body to all the cells, organs and muscles (where there is oxygen there cannot be disease);
- Unlike many other exercise-routines, rebounding works quickly. A recent study by NASA proved that only 20 minutes a day is necessary and gives you the same benefits as running for an hour on a treadmill. The only (and big) difference is that bouncing has no impact on your ankles, knees and lower back. Just keep your knees bent at all times!
- Rebounding can be done by anybody, at any age, and by anyone who had an injury, a knee replacement, and so on. In my Pilates-classes and as part of my rehabilitation-work, I let my members and clients bounce either on a ball or on a trampoline (regardless of their age and level of fitness);
- Unlike some exercises causing stiff muscles and/or pain, rebounding doesn’t because you are not working out on a hard surface that has direct impact on your joints;
- It has been proven that just walking, marching or bouncing on the trampoline, can alleviate pain caused by arthritis and osteoporosis, as it prevents calcium loss from the spine and other major bones;
- ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), an immune-deficiency disorder, can also be alleviated (when your energy levels are up and lymphatic circulation works at its’ optimum level, toxins are eliminated all the time);
- Sufferers from multiple sclerosis will also benefit, as rebounding will help them with co-ordination (as it strengthens the core muscles);
- It calms hyperactive children (it improves concentration, focus, solving problems, relaxation and sleep);
- Rebounding will alleviate allergies, blocked noses and sinusitis (thus respiration-capacity increases);
- Rebounding will alleviate menstrual discomfort, fatigue, and is also safe to do when you are pregnant. Post-natal women will benefit as well as it will strengthen the skill cells and help to get rid of skin folds;
- As a form of aerobic exercise, it not only removes waste and cholesterol from the blood vessels (which in turn reduces blood pressure), but it also increases the elasticity of the arteries and strengthens the heart;
- After rebounding your resting metabolic rates improves and more calories are burnt;
- Rebounding lowers the circulating cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as blood pressure and pulse rate;
- Low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) in the blood decreases and high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) increases, thus cardiovascular diseases and coronary artery diseases are lessened;
- Lastly; it boosts red blood cells, promotes tissue repair, enhances nutrient absorption, digestion and elimination processes, expands fuel storage (mitochondria count increases) in order to burn more calories hours afterwards, adds to the alkaline reserve of the body (balanced pH-levels are important; especially in the gut), tends to slow down atrophy during ageing and stabilizes the nervous system.
Dr. Gideon, member of the Olympics’ Committee, stated that regular bouncing is an ideal aerobic exercise-routine for all ages. He added that it not only promotes and maintains a healthy mind and body, but is a safe and effective way to build strong muscles, keep the bones strong and the heart healthy.
Rebounding has many pros. If you don’t want to bounce, you can walk / march on the spot. When bouncing it is extremely important to keep your knees slightly bent (especially when your feet leaves the rebounder / trampoline). You can even do sit-ups, push-ups and other types of exercises on it – it is versatile, easy to use and fun!
Do remember to always stretch afterwards and make sure to drink water. Water helps the lymphatic system to flush out the toxins.
One last thing that I have been asked many times and that is – can the elderly and someone who cannot stand do it? My answer is yes! There are 2 different rebounders (mini trampolines) on the market. One without a handle / railing to hold on to (here you can make use of a sturdy chair) and another with an added handle / railing to hold on to.
I have worked with many patients in frail- and semi-frail care, that sat in a chair / wheelchair with only their feet on the rebounder, while I gently bounced on the trampoline.
So – why not get in touch again with your inner child; get yourself a trampoline and bounce!! It is easy, quick and very effective! The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks and, honestly, I cannot think of one drawback in the years that I have been doing it and teaching it!
By: Ezette Viljoen (Health & Fitness Editor)