The joys of bouncing
Ever wondered why babies like to bounce? Instinctively they know that it is good for them; and for digestion! What am I talking about, you might wonder? I am talking about your lymphatic system, also known as the “waste-basket” of the body. The lymphatic system helps the body to get rid of toxins and other waste in the body. Bouncing or rebounding as it is called in many countries, are a fantastic way to help the lymphatic system to get rid of all the toxins and waste. When you are bouncing (either on a Pilates ball, sitting down, or on a trampoline), gravity comes into play. It is this G-force that kicks the lymph’s valves into action.
Bouncing is not just great fun; it is also a fantastic way to boost the lymphatic system, detox the body and boost your immune system. it is one of the safest ways to get fit, loose weight, tone your body and get the heartrate up. When the lymphatic system doesn’t function optimally, your cells rapidly become susceptible to degeneration, for example fatigue, headaches, allergies, weight problems, premature ageing, as well as chronic and acute illness and disease.
According to lymphologists, your body’s 60 trillion cells are like jellies and, ideally, the cells should sit snugly together in a “dry state.” This means that there shouldn’t be excess fluid surrounding the cells. When the cells are in this “dry state,” the loss of energy, disease and degeneration cannot, theoretically, happen. The lymphatic system is responsible for not only removing toxins, but also any excess fluid, thus it is often referred to as the “garbage bin.” When the lymph doesn’t work properly, excess fluids (which includes dead cells, nitrogenous wastes, fat, viruses and heavy metals), start to collects or “pool” around the cells. This is known as a “wet state” and is a good environment for degeneration and/or disease to thrive in. Unlike the heart, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump (although it has valves). Muscular contraction through exercise and movement, combined with gravitational pressure and deep breathing, are needed to help the lymph work at optimum level.
Rebounding came into the fitness arena years ago and has resurfaced again. Mini-trampolines (and even Pilates-balls) are used in homes and gyms alike. There are even mini-trampolines with a sidebar; for those who struggle with balance, as well as trampolines with a net around for young children. When you bounce on a mini-trampoline (or a big one), it is always important to remember to keep your knees slightly bent. When you are bouncing, without even lifting your feet off the trampoline, enough momentum is used to get your heartrate up. Unlike jogging, which is very hard on the knees and ankles, the bouncing takes any pressure, strain and impact off the joints, thus preventing injury.
For many years, health practitioners all over the world were endorsing rebounding as a means of getting healthy and staying fit, whilst protecting your ankles, knees, hips and backs. NASA was one of the first to use it for the astronauts – when they are in space, there is no gravity. When they come back to earth, gravity sets in. To counter the side-effects (if I can call it that), the astronauts bounced on trampolines. This pull and push between gravity and no gravity, is what helped the astronauts to adapt being back on land. This sparked the idea of developing rebounding as a form of rehabilitation and/or exercise-routine, for all ages. Pat Mueller, from the University of Minnesota, said “rebounding is the exercise of the future. I’ve seen a lot of sports fads come and go, but this thing (rebounder) is phenomenal.”
When Rebounding took off, there were instructors, books, DVDs, and the like, that advertised it as an aerobic exercise-form. However, it should not just be seen as another exercise-tool; rather as a “health- “device. When you are bouncing, every single cell is being exercised – every muscle, organ, bone, and so on. Rebounding / bouncing is often called “cellular aerobics,” because it regenerates your whole body at a cellular level and is a phenomenal way to detox.
Do you remember when you bounced on your bed? Yes, your parents didn’t like that, but you did it any way! Why? Because, instinctively, you knew that it made you feel happy. Without even realizing it, the bouncing helped to cleanse your whole system on a cellular level and every one of your 60 trillion cells, got a massage! There is a saying that a healthy baby is a “bouncing baby” and when you are happy you “jump for joy.” Bouncing has made a comeback and it is great news. Next week I will write more about the benefits of bouncing (rebounding). In the meantime, if you have a trampoline or Pilates-ball at home, try it out. You will soon notice the difference bouncing makes; even if you start off with just 10 minutes a day!