Rebounding Back Into Life

Most of us have the same goal for a healthy, shapely body. Rebounding is one of those perfect exercises for grandmothers who want to regain their figures without having to pay a gym, without fearing stiffness and injury, and without being in any kind of shape at all when we start out!

When I was a child our family often rented a cabin by a lake in the summer and one of our favorite non-water recreations was bouncing on small pay-for-use trampolines. The trampolines of that era were actually interwoven elastic strips on a frame over a pit. We were thrilled to get a quarter and jump our hearts out for fifteen straight minutes. I never had the courage to try a flip, but I was able to jump, land on my rear, and bounce back up into standing position, over and over.

So much fun! And then I didn't bounce on a real trampoline for about another twenty years! Yes, like many others, I purchased one of those cheap mini-trampolines (cost $35 at Wal-Mart I think) but unyielding, unsatisfying bounces were all that I ever really managed and after a short while, the material around the springs tore, or the springs themselves broke.**

When I was in my early 50s I got into rebounding properly. I attended a demo by a 'reboundologist' in her late 60s. She was slim, trim, and full of energy. I bought the sort of rebounder that she recommended and I have been rebounding back into life ever since!

I had worked in a pretty sedentary job for a number of years, so when I began to bounce I thought of myself as the someone with a chronic disease who needs to start out really really slowly. Initially I only did what is called the "health bounce"-- basically standing and bending my knees to create a minor bounce effect. I did this for about once an hour for about 30 seconds to a minute to start. The "experts" say that this is enough of a bounce to start with, and in fact, it is not a good idea to start with more than a minute at a time. Now, that's my kind of exercise!

Over time I have developed my own 20-minute workout ritual. I don't do anything fancy, mainly just jump up and down and do dance-type movements or jogging/running steps. Sometimes I listen to Christian music and reflect on the needs of people on my prayer list while I bounce. Other times I tune in to more upbeat aerobic-type music with a steady thumping beat. There are also times when I bounce to CBC Radio morning programs. I'm an auditory learner, meaning that I learn best when I 'hear' but I know there are many people who like to rebound while watching TV (they're probably what you call "visual"). It's not something you want to do while sitting in traffic or talking on the cell phone-- hehe.

I must tell you that rebounding is the perfect exercise for grandparents! Not only do you get into condition, re-gain strength, build your immune system, and take off inches, but you can have a lot of fun with the grandkids if you have a trampoline around! AND, we discovered during a three week visit that the rebounder is the most amazing way to soothe "wired" toddlers and fussy babies. I did my bouncy-magic with both little girls. I was very careful not to bounce their little brains around in their skulls (something that can happen when people shake children or throw them into the air), but just did the "health bounce" holding them either vertically (the two-year old) or horizontally (the 3-month old). In time, their Daddy was also using the rebounder to achieve the same blessed results.

I have owned a Cellerciser for the past several years. We have not had any pops, rips, or broken items and it has a nice "soft" bounce that doesn't hurt our joints. **Cheaply made 'mini-tramps' can actually cause injuries to the joints and are on your chiropractor's no-no list

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