Rebounding is not a new activity, but it has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. For good reason, it would seem. Rebounding is touted to improve lymphatic flow, hasten weight loss, lower blood pressure, improve bone density, improve aerobic capacity, increase circulation, increase heart strength, reduce risk of cancer, and do many more helpful things to your body. It sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Let’s take a closer look.
First, what is rebounding? Simply put, it is using a mini-trampoline to jump up and down. It’s an aerobic exercise that will certainly raise your heart rate and make you breath faster. But, can it provide all the health benefits that are listed in health blogs and advertisements?
A 2018 study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness documented multiple positive health effects from rebounding. The study involved a group of 18 middle-aged, overweight women who were put on a 12-week rebounding program. At the end of the study, the authors were able to demonstrate improved body composition (circumferences, fat mass, lean and muscular mass), better systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, and a decrease in pain severity. Lipid and glucose improvements were also noted.
A second study published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) found that in trained athletes, rebounding was able to raise the heart rate to levels similar to treadmill use, making it a good alternative to persons wanting to lower the impact forces on their joints. Because it allows athletes to raise their heart rate to 55 to 90% of maximum heart rate, it can improve cardiovascular fitness.
A study performed for 20 weeks on 11 to 14-year-old boys published in The International Journal of Prevention Medicine also found that rebounding was able to achieve improved body fat and fitness levels.
The consensus appears to be that positive health benefits can be obtained by regular use of a rebounder. But, how about some of the other claims, like reducing cancer risk? I found no scholarly articles published on that but did find some rebounding advocates extrapolating the known effect of exercise on preventing cancer recurrence to rebounding. Not exactly scientific proof but certainly plausible. The reasoning may be simple cause and effect. Exercise appears to prevent certain cancers from recurring. Several other factors may also be in play. For one, an hour after a two-minute rebounding session, white blood cell count normalizes, improving your immune system. An intact immune system is important in cancer prevention.
How about improving lymph flow and drainage? It is vital to understand that lymph fluid is essentially white blood cells (which protect us against bacteria) and chyle (which is a fluid from the gastrointestinal tract which carries fats and toxins.) We have three times as much lymph in our body as blood. And, unlike the vascular system, our lymph system doesn’t come with pumps. It needs help to flow. While rebounding, you are subject to three forces that improve lymph flow:
1. Gravity, which pulls you back to the earth after you jump up
2. Deceleration, which is what occurs when you land on the trampoline mat
3. Acceleration which is what happens as you are travelling upwards from the trampoline surface
The improved lymph flow helps us to remove toxins and bacteria and improves our immunity.
The verdict: rebounding is a great way to achieve an impressive array of health benefits without imposing harmful forces across joints. It can be done at home at a minimum investment cost. What’s not to love about rebounding?