Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On the Rebound

Not sold with bloke
I have been bouncing my way through the week thanks to Merewoman at NoDamnBlog. Or rather, rebounding, the official but much less (pornographically) evocative term.

In my quest to get moving without exerting myself uncomfortably, she suggested buying a mini trampoline. What a brilliant suggestion! I used to love jumping on the bed when I was little. We had a little trampoline for the garden too and I spent hours on it. Little did I know that it's amazingly good for your health.

To start with, it's very kind on your joints - important when they start to creak unnervingly. Whilst jogging puts enormous stress on certain joints, with bouncing, all joints (and cells) are affected, but without the stress. Isn't that cool? Plus you don't have to worry about looking a mess and facing the elements (or stepping in dog poo, this being France...). It's something to do with the zero gravity you get at the top of the bounce and twice the force at the bottom.

Another amazing health benefit is on the lymphatic system. The website Healing Daily has a nifty explanation why:
"The human body needs to move. The lymph system bathes every cell, carrying nutrients to the cell and waste products away. Contrary to blood which is pumped by the heart, the lymph is totally dependent on physical exercise to move. Without adequate movement, the cells are left stewing in their own waste products and starving for nutrients, a situation which contributes to arthritis, cancer and other degenerative diseases as well as ageing. Vigorous exercise such as rebounding is reported to increase lymph flow by 15 to 30 times."

They even have a diagram of how it works on the human body for those interested in the biological/anatomical aspect. So, it's important to exercise to prevent cells stewing in their own waste, and if that isn't a good enough reason to get your arse bouncing I don't know what is!

You start gently enough just doing the odd bobbing movement to warm up, and swing your arms a bit too. You can perk things up by watching tele at the same time, or listening to the radio, your iPod (if you have one), an audio book or any other mentally stimulating activity. As I have a small house, my mini trampoline is in front of the tele, so I'm often watching Fable 3 or some such XBox game that's being played by the boys. We have a relatively democratic house. I can lay down the law but only if I choose, otherwise they can decide what they watch. Most of the time I'm not bothered as it's all a bunch of crap anyway.

Once you've warmed up nicely, you can jog on the spot, pick up your knees, kick out your feet, swing your hips and so on, plus do arm exercises too. Trampolines usually come with a sheet of exercises most of which are pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it.

Of course, once the rest of the family see the trampoline you might have to fight them off to be able to use it and in our house, there's usually one of the boys bobbing up and down on it. It's been a huge success and I've used it every day.

I bought mine for €35 so less than the price of a pair of jogging shoes (which I wouldn't buy anyway) and a terrific investment. My cells are at this very moment popping the champagne corks with relief at having been saved from stewing in their own waste. It's all go in there!

So, to summarise, here are 10 reasons to invest (not heavily) in a mini trampoline:
  1. You can do it in front of the tele.
  2. You don't have to go outside.
  3. You don't have to dress.
  4. It's really really good for you.
  5. It's kind on your poor old joints.
  6. You can pretend you're a kid.
  7. It's very amusing bouncing up and down.
  8. There are probably some very original ways of using the trampoline with one's dearly beloved...
  9. It's a cheap form of exercise.
  10. The whole family will be fighting to do it.

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