Exercise like an astronaut: The workout approved by NASA
I did it. I bought a rebounder (otherwise known as a mini trampoline, but let's sound technical for a second). Now before you write this purchase off as an irrational move from a health-trend junkie, let's just take a look at the astronaut-ical (you'll get it in a second) evidence supporting the art of bouncing that booty.
First, let's remember back to when we were little kids. As a wee youngster, all I ever wanted to do was jump on my best friend's trampoline. So it's no surprise that grown kidults around the globe are mixing up their fitness routine with an old school bounce (I personally like to take it all the way back with an epic '90s R'n'B playlist – I like to think I've still Got that Vibe).
Bounce for booty or pound the pavement?
In the '80s, NASA began using rebounding on astronauts returning from space to regain bone density, on the back of a study published in the Journal of Physiology. "For similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running," the report specified.
When the astronauts were tested on a rebounder (yes, astronauts on a trampoline – you still with me?) compared to the treadmill, the G-force (a fancy pants word for gravitational pressure) was more balanced. Non-shmancy speak – there was less pressure on their joints.
Who needs to walk on the moon when you have a rebounder?
This is the very question I've been asking myself. Let's face it, I'm training like an astronaut now, so … surely this warrants adding 'NASA Bootcamp' under the 'Training and Education' section of my CV. Right?
Celeb trainer Tracy Anderson is a fan
With an impressive array of six packs and thigh gaps to her name including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Richie, Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller, Robert Downey Jr and Michelle Rodriguez, I felt reassured that Tracy recommends, "30 minutes, five to seven days per week. It promotes weight loss, increases oxygen flow and bone mass, improves muscle and skin tone, and promotes a balanced workout."
Madonna fancies a bounce pre-performance
Another Tracy Anderson devotee, ReboundUK reports, "Madonna and her dance team use the rebounder to warm up before performances and as part of her conditioning program." Apparently, I'm now ready to go on tour with Mads – this rebounder is shaping up to be quite the professional investment!
Yes, there is such a thing as a 'certified reboundologist'
Jutta Tobkin, a certified reboundologist (your guess is as good as mine), who is also known as the "Rebound Lady", shares "Because it (rebounding) moves all parts of the body at once, we can also call it a cellular exercise." She explains that cellular exercise strengthens every cell while also "helping to remove toxins and then deliver and absorb nutrients at the cellular level, where it can be converted into energy."
Madonna and her dance team use a rebounder to warm up.
Love your lymph
The aspect that really got me bouncing for joy is the benefit to the lymphatic system. Much like the heart pumps blood all around our body, the lymphatic system pumps fluid that helps the body eliminate toxins from our system. Unlike the heart that pumps all by itself, the lymphatic system needs to be manually stimulated through physical movement. If you have cellulite, you most likely have a sluggish lymph system.
While all forms of physical exercise are great to get the lymph pumping (Bodypass offers a fab range of lymph-lovin exercise options), alongside dry body brushing, massage and deep breathing, there is considerable research supporting rebounding as one of the most effective ways to get your lymphatic system in tiptop condition.
It's all about the G-force says Dr. Axe, certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist. "The increased G-force that occurs when you land causes a surge of lymphatic drainage, which improves circulation and, therefore, may help detoxify your entire system."
According to Dave Scrivens, a Canadian lymphologist and co-author of The Importance of Mobilizing the Lymphatic System, rebounding is "reported to increase lymph flow by 15 to 30 times".
Which bouncer is best?
Safety comes first, so quality is key. I purchased a Bellicon (recommended by Dr. Axe) – a German-engineered rebounder that features highly elastic bungee bands instead of springs, delivering a superior suspension system while being almost silent.
You don't have to go top of the range, but cheaper models are known to break easily, won't be able to accommodate heavier body weights safely and can "lack the support needed to be effective," says Dr Axe. Higher quality rebounders are especially renowned for strengthening joints and stimulating circulation, as the superiority of the bounce enhances health benefits.
Obviously, ensure you have enough ceiling clearance, and even though it's hella fun, let's not get too swept away while busting out to 'Hip Hop Hooray'!
My colonic therapist noticed my abs
We all know I'm cray for colonics, and my therapist noticed some ab-provement after just one month of bouncing for around 40 minutes, three-four times a week. When it comes to the dreaded cellulite, I've noticed my booty appearing smoother after around three months of use, so I'm excited to see what my future bouncing may bring. Plus, when I bounce in the morning before work, I feel like a pocket rocket, my energy levels literally levitate.
There you have it, the one thing that the moon and Madonna have in common
Who would have thought it would be the humble rebounder, aka (mini) trampoline. I wonder if the astronauts play Holiday while they're chillin up in space?