It might remind you of a 1980s workout video complete with sweatbands and spandex -- but that mini-trampoline is more than just a blast from the past. The act of jumping on the that small trampoline is called "rebounding," and it has the potential to be your new best friend in terms of fitness equipment. That's because rebounding has a host of potential health benefits.
The lymphatic fluid in your body carries toxins and other metabolic wastes, and the lymphatic system is often called the body's "garbage collector." The lymphatic system doesn't have a "pump," unlike the circulatory system which has the heart to keep things moving. Instead, lymphatic fluid moves when you move -- and rebounding really helps move things along. The rebounding motion opens up the valves of the lymphatic system, getting everything flowing again. Those valves are "one-way" valves that need a bounce to get them open -- that's why running or walking won't do quite the same thing.
The lymphatic system is directly related to the immune system. When toxins and metabolic wastes are carried away, they're less likely to do damage or cause you to get sick. So by stimulating the lymphatic system, the rebounding motion is also helping improve your immune function. That can help you stay healthier overall, and you may find that you'll get fewer colds, flus or other stomach bugs when you do rebounding exercises regularly.
Easy on Joints
With its soft, giving surface, exercising on a rebounder can be easier on the joints as compared to other high-impact exercises. For people with arthritis or joint paint, doing activities such as jogging or jumping jacks are just too painful on the floor or hard ground. By incorporating the mini-trampoline, these exercises can once again be on the exercise menu. That's not to say it's going to be for everyone; if you have serious arthritis or other pain, it's still important to talk to your doctor about the benefits versus the risks. And as with any type of exercise equipment, there's always a chance that you could hurt yourself by over-bouncing or not using the equipment safely.
Any exercise that gets your heart pumping faster is going to benefit your health, and rebounding will definitely get your heart pumping. The act of rebounding can improve circulation, as well as the overall health of the heart. Rebounding can help strengthen the heart and other muscles, advises Dr. Morton Walker. Additionally, the exercise may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, says Walker.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.