It happens to the best of newlyweds: now that you’re married, getting to the gym has disappeared from your to-do list. Rebounding -- exercising on a mini-trampoline -- may be just what your body and mind are yearning for. All you need to participate in this high-intensity, low-impact exercise are a mini trampoline and at least 20 minutes of undisturbed time. Add some of your best exercise tunes to the mix, and you’ll forget you’re even breaking a sweat.
If you don't already own one, purchase a good sports bra. Also, wear athletic shoes -- which is best if you have weak ankles -- go barefoot or wear anti-slip socks while exercising on your rebounder. If you have any concerns regarding balance, buy a stability bar. This allows you to hold on to something while bouncing, giving you the confidence you need to continue your workout and prevent a fall. Begin with your feet flat on the mat about shoulder-width apart. Lift and lower your heels keeping the soles of your feet on the mat and alternating between your right and left foot. Continue this warm-up for five minutes. Do not let your ankles roll inward, and keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight to avoid injuries.
Once you’ve got a good feel for how a rebounder moves, add some bounce to your routine. Start with a gentle bounce, allowing both of your feet to leave the rebounder at the same time, but go no higher than 4 inches. Continue for five minutes. Jumping on a rebounder is a low-impact aerobic exercise. In fact, research performed by A. W. Daniels, Ph.D., adjunct professor at the University of Utah, found that working out on a rebounder absorbed about 87 percent of the impact when compared to working out on a hardwood floor.
Begin jogging by alternately lifting each foot no more than an inch or two, swinging your arms as you would when jogging. As you progress, lift your knees bringing them up to hip level for an even greater aerobic workout. Mix it up by adding some arm movements. Raise your arms to the side, over your head and then back down, as you would in a jumping jack, and then bring them out in front of you, crossing them like a pair of scissors. Repeat this 20 times. A study published in the "Essentials of Exercise Physiology, 4th edition" showed that rebounding burned more calories than traditional jogging. Good news for your waistband.
Adding handheld weights can increase the intensity of your workout. Only proceed with this type of exercise when you feel stable on your rebounder. Begin with 1- to 2-pound dumbbells in each hand. While maintaining a light jog, try the following arm movements: bending your elbows, bring the hand weights up to shoulder level. Press them above your head by extending your arms and then return to shoulder level. Alternate between your right and left arms. Repeat 20 times. As you progress, you will be able to increase the weight and number of sets and add additional exercises such as a biceps curls or lateral presses. Always cool down by returning to the warm-up bounce for an additional five minutes at the end of your routine. After disembarking from your rebounder, perform gentle stretches aimed at your calves, thighs and hamstrings.
Marisa Upson has been writing health-related articles since 1990. Her knowledge comes from 23 years in the health care field as a chiropractor and owner of a holistic retreat. Upson holds a Bachelor of Science in human physiology and a Doctor of Chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences.