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All About Rebounding for Aerobic Healthby Dr. Tina Wellman, Ph.D, PNE
What is the weakest force in the universe and has the most profound effect on the human body? Gravity. As we age, the relentless pull of gravity causes our body to sag in a southerly direction. We develop wrinkles, flabby forearms, portly midriffs, vericosities, edemic feet and ankles, stooped shoulders, turkey necks, and compressed spines, to name a few multifarious insults to our body shape.
To compensate for this "G-force" we must continually work against it through body movement. Regular exercise is essential to maintain optimal health. Apiarian Royden Brown noted, "It has been scientifically documented that exercising regularly increases longevity and enhanced quality of life."1 The proverbial expression "either use it or lose it" applies to the body's need for daily exercise as well as to maintain musculoskeletal strength, immunity, and psychobiological balance. The best nutrition in the world cannot sustain us if our circulation is stagnant and we do not receive oxygen-rich blood to our body's three trillion cells.2
Gravitational force is key to understanding resistive rebounding's health benefits. By combining the forces of acceleration and deceleration, body cells are tricked into believing they are being subjected to increased gravity.3 NASA clearly demonstrated the virtues of rebounding when they designed an exercise protocol in the zero gravity of space. Loss of bone density and muscle mass are the negative results incurred to astronauts soaring through the cosmos at zero gravity. Scientific blood analysis that included subjecting weakened blood cells (of returning astronauts) to increased G-force evidenced an increase in cellular strength. It is this increase in G-force during rebounding (specifically during deceleration) that challenges body cells to strengthen.4
An Exercise for all Ages
Rebounding knows no social boundaries and has no age limitations. Exercise guru Jack LaLanne often demonstrated rebounding on his popular T.V. exercise program. Comedian Bob Hope once noted "I keep my rebounder at the foot of my bed and use it daily." Morning talk show host Regis Philbin enjoyed a rebounding session during one of his interviews with fitness expert and nutritionist to the stars, Rheo Blair, on his 1970's "A.M. Los Angeles" television program. A rebounder even found its way into the White House during the Reagan administration!
Virtues of Rebounding
"Rebounding," or jumping on a mini trampoline has universal exercise appeal and a plethora of health benefits. The repetitive rhythmic motion of bouncing on a mini trampoline provides a zero impact simple exercise method with high impact long term (mental and physical) health benefits that extend from youth to old age:
Price point, aside from durable materials and construction, is a common denominator when selecting exercise equipment. Knock off "toy" rebounders are readily available market wide. If you are truly rebounding for health, selecting a high quality mini trampoline that will enable you to "jump the extra mile" in comfort and that meets high quality manufacturing standards is paramount. Needak® Mfg. of O'Neill, Nebraska is the only USA-based manufacturer of "Soft-Bounce?" rebounders. Since its inception in 1990, Needak® prides itself in setting the gold standard as the premiere mini trampoline manufacturer in the industry maintaining quality control from design to finished product.12
Needak®'s "Soft-Bounce?" rebounder weighs 25 pounds and includes three main components: A mat, a set of springs, and a frame. A tightly woven stretch and UV resistant "Permatron®" matting is mounted on a 40-inch diameter heavy gauge steel round shaped platform that provides the framework needed to support a Soft-Bounce? comfortable jump. This unique design (as opposed to square or octagon shape) provides uniform stress upon all components--mat, springs, and frame. Needak®'s barrel shape springs absorb an estimated 85% impact per bounce. This feature is in stark contrast to low end, imported, mini trampolines constructed with shorter springs that are significantly more rigid. Obviously age, and wear and tear, will eventually cause any metal spring to succumb to breakage. However, choosing durable materials at the outset provides for longer active life before spring replacement becomes necessary.
Needak®'s hinge design is virtually indestructible and includes spring-loaded legs which complement their "half-fold" system (carrying bag included) that provides for easy portability (to hotels, in a trailer, or in a car trunk) or storage (in a closet or under a bed). An optional stabilizing bar can be secured to the trampoline frame for seniors and those with injuries or health issues that require additional support.
On initial inspection, one might conclude that aerobic resistive rebounding restricts the exerciser to bouncing in place. However, resistive rebounding instructor, author, and lecturer, Linda Brooks quickly enlightens us on rebounding's diverse applications including strength training and toning the abdomen. Needak® offers a wealth of videos and books including Linda Brook's library of rebounding techniques and health benefits for a diverse audience. These learning aids even address issues involving degenerative illnesses and cancer.
For further information, contact Needak® Mfg. directly at 1-800-232-5762 or 402-336-4083 or view their website (www.needakrebounders.com).
Additionally, Olympic fitness trainers Dr. & Mrs. H. Sneider (owners of Sneider's Fitness Center in Pasadena, CA) illustrate a comprehensive fitness program in their book "Olympic Trainer". The Sneiders encourage using sand bag weights for building upper arm strength and endurance.
Rebounding is no stranger to the greater health community. Exercise personality Joanie Greggains notes the importance of rebounding as an effective way to stimulate the lymph system in her upcoming book "The Fat Flush Fitness Plan" (McGraw-Hill) due out next January. Greggains' exercise compendium complements Ann Louise Gittleman's (PhD, CNS) popular "Fat Flush Plan," which advocates rebounding as part of her regimen for maintaining health and a svelte physique.
Reflections for long-term health
As children we are inherently inclined to move from a young age... we crawl, walk, run, and jump. As we transition from childhood to adulthood we exchange our active and mobile lifestyle for a sedentary and immobile one, where our daily exercise routine is restricted to clicking a computer mouse or the remote control, or depressing the microwave keypad to heat up a prepackaged dinner. We sit at our desk, on our couch, in our car, on a train, in a plane, and expend brain energy without physical movement. Then we wonder why we experience intermittent brain fog and increasing weight gain in unwanted places.
In our high tech society where everything around us is increasingly automated and demands less physical effort, our lack of movement is increasing our health risks (and abdominal girth!) while negatively affecting our mental acumen. We require high levels of oxygen to think clearly--something sitting cannot accomplish. Movement is vital to circulate the blood that carries oxygen to the brain. The moral: keep active and take advantage of a simple non-toxic method of exercising that is easy on the budget and beneficial to the entire body.
Given our nation's health crisis includes cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity, let's find the time to take a few minutes each day to improve our health. What a difference those few moments make in providing us with improved mental and physical well being. Otherwise, we will have to resort to toxic measures to "treat" failing health conditions which could be avoided by taking some preventative measures like rebounding. Why take blood thinners and blood pressure pills when we can avoid the problem by encouraging good circulation?
We all learn what we live as children. Isn't it time to set the pace for the next generation and encourage everyone to preserve their youthful health, vim, and vigor? Why not make our next "coffee break" a time to jump for health and well being? Let us all "reverse gravity" by exercising daily.
To your good health!
Dr. Wellman is the author of Psychoneuroendocrinology: Copper Toxicity and Premenstrual Syndrome. She blends nutritional support with environmental detoxification to achieve wellness. Her efforts in this field are groundbreaking, and provide hope for healing and wellness.
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