One positive thing about both the brisk walk and mini trampoline is that both provide great ways of working out without having to spend money on a gym or expensive home equipment. You can walk just about anywhere for free, and a mini trampoline, or rebounder, will only set you back $30 to $100, depending on the quality. What's more, both activities provide low-impact cardiovascular workouts that don't put too much strain on your knees. Check out the differences to figure out which is best for you.
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Brisk walking, also called power walking, is the go-to activity that many health and fitness professionals recommend for sedentary people. It is accessible to people of all fitness levels and ages. It's also very easy to master. Maintain good posture to work your core muscles and walk quickly. Lock your elbows at 90-degree angles, and move them forward and back, opposite what your feet are doing. That is, when your right foot steps forward, your left arm moves forward, and your left arm backward, and vice versa.
Intensity of Workout
Brisk walking is a workout of medium intensity, in which you walk at a speed of about 3.5 miles per hour. If you've been sedentary, you might want to start slowly and pick up the pace as you get more used to exercise. There are many things you can do to increase the intensity as you get comfortable with the routine: Walk up and down hills to tone the muscles in your legs. Carry hand weights or walking poles if you can do so without experiencing back pain. Use a pedometer to count your strides and be sure you're maintaining, or even increasing, your speed as time passes.
Medical professionals recommend about 30 minutes of brisk walking at least five times a week for health benefits like weight management, weight loss and heart health. You can even divide these intervals into 10- or 15-minute segments to fit your schedule. A 155-pound person burns about 134 calories during the 30-minute walk, approximately as many as a jogger burns in the same amount of time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adding weight training to the workout about twice a week for best results.
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If you've ever wished workouts were more fun, you might consider getting your cardiovascular workouts and strength training done on a rebounder. Jumping on these mini trampolines brings back nostalgic memories of childhood -- and provides a great low-impact workout to boot. Like brisk walking, rebounding is accessible to people of all fitness levels, so it's also a good choice for previously sedentary people. It's also safe and easy to modify according to your own workout needs and abilities.
Intensity and Technique
Rebounding workouts require you to maintain a pretty high intensity level once you're accustomed to the workout, but it's safe and low impact just like walking. If you're new to the rebounder, you might look into an inexpensive class at a local community center. And if that's unavailable, it can be easily learned. Start out running in place with knee lifts or simply jumping up and down for 10 to 15 minutes, until you can maintain about 30 minutes of the activity. Jumping jacks and bouncing while seated are also good rebounder exercises.
Rebounding is more efficient than walking when it comes to burning calories; a 155-pound person burns about 188 calories in 30 minutes on a rebounder, about 64 more calories than you burn during a brisk 30-minute walk. Plus, it acts simultaneously as a strength training and cardiovascular workout and, according to CBS news, it strengthens your bones. Finally, you'll only need to spend about two-thirds as much time rebounding as walking to receive benefits. If you find that it strains your back, discontinue use and don't continue unless advised by a doctor. But if you're looking for efficiency and a high-intensity workout that you can do, rebounding is the clear choice.
- Better Exercise Fitness for Life: Mini Trampoline Exercises - More than Just Bouncing
- Time: We Tried This - The Urban Rebounding Workout
- NutriStrategy: Calories Burned During Activities, Sports and Exercises Chart
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- CBS News: Exercise on the Rebound
- Mayoclinic.com: Walking - Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health
- Harvard Health Publications: Research Points to Even More Health Benefits of Walking, from the Harvard Health LEetter
- Health 101: A Rebounder Helps You Bounce Your Way to Better Health!
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Benefits of Physical Activity
- Cleveland Clinic: What Is the Best Type of Aerobic Exercise?
- CBS News: Aerobic Exercise May Be Best at Burning Fat, Weight Loss
- ABC News: Can Exercise Help Me Cope with Stress, and Does It Matter What Kind of Exercise?
- Orah.com: The Decade-by-Decade Guide to Exercise
- BBC Health: Finding the Right Exercise
Christina Lee began writing in 2004. Her co-authored essay is included in the edited volume, "Discipline and Punishment in Global Affairs." Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and politics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Arts in global affairs from American University and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Penn State University.