It is no secret that most of us loved jumping on the bed as a kid. Although our parents did not like it so much, we were thrilled to bounce up and down on the springy mattress. What our parents did not know is that bouncing is actually good for your health, although the bed may not be the best place to do it.
A trampolinist by the name of Albert Carter invented the bouncing exerciser, the “Rebounder” in 1979. He also wrote a book entitled, ‘The Miracles of Rebound Exercise’, which explained his design. Although the exerciser was originally created to be used by police departments in Hong Kong, Carter’s design soon became the model for all other rebounders.
The rebounder is a terrific piece of exercise equipment for several reasons. This unique gadget is great for both light and heavy cardiovascular exercises. While most exercise equipment varies greatly between the benefits from light and those from heavy exercise, they are exactly the same with this piece of equipment. So how do rebounders help the body?
Rebounding exercise strengthens not only the muscle mass, but also enhances the immune system. The white blood cell count actually rises temporarily when using a rebounder. This exercise also circulates oxygen to the tissues, increases the production of red blood cells, and promotes cellular repair. The functioning of the nervous system is supported and improved by rebounding, and the aging process is slowed…but that is not all. Rebounding also increases mental performance and provides relief from headaches, neck pain, and backaches. When performed on a regular basis, rebounding can help to move and recycle lymph and blood through the circulatory system, and stimulates the cells in all organs, veins, arteries, bones, muscles, eyes, and the brain.
This exercise phenomenon is made even more special by the fact that it produces “positive stress” on the body. The body moves up and down, or vertically, when bouncing. That means that during half of the exercise process, gravity has no effect on the body. In most other exercises, the body moves horizontally, using gravity to stimulate the cells. This causes more negative stress on the joints, muscles, and other parts of the body.
Chinese Medicine suggests the jumping action can raise your Qi, actually lifting your energy. I found it a positively silly way to lighten my day, feeling lighter, happier, younger, and more fit within seconds. You can begin with a mere 2 minutes at a time, twice a day, to feel the positive effects. Place the equipment where it is hard to forget, and grab a moment here and there to lighten your stress.
Rebounding for just five or ten minutes a day is all you need to keep the body in great shape. When searching for a rebounder, make sure to research well, and try testing the equipment out if possible before purchasing. A trusted colleague recommended the Needak brand for high quality, long-lasting equipment. Most models are designed to easily fold away for storage. Happy bouncing!
Foods for a Healthy Fall
Throughout the year, nature provides us with the appropriate foods to protect us from the climate, support our health, and keep us in balance. Becoming aware of seasonal foods and seasonal eating habits can attune us to the natural cycles of nature, and our bodies.
Autumn offers an abundance of vegetables and herbs as well as a variety of tastes which support and fuel the body, providing additional heat to protect us from the cooler, damper climate. Preparing food in harmony with the season means cooking with more astringent, sour and pungent foods, adding food rich in protein and fats to your diet, and eating more whole grains.
Eating sour foods such as sourdough bread, sauerkraut, aduki beans, yogurt and rosehip tea, and pungent foods such as garlic, turnip, ginger, horseradish, daikon, and white peppercorn have a warming and cleansing affect on the body and also add ‘zing’ to your meals. Cooking with dark green and golden orange vegetables such as carrots, winter squash, pumpkin, broccoli, parsley, kale, turnip, and mustard greens provide large amounts of beta-carotene, which helps to boost your Wei Qi and protect your lungs and large intestine against illness.
Drinking hot herbal tea is another way of warming the body and benefiting from the season’s abundance. Herbs such as ginseng, yerba santa, nettles, mullein, and astragalus can also keep the immune system strong and healthy. Remember, herbs can be used as medicine, so it’s wise to consult with someone who is knowledgeable to make sure you’re taking the right herbs.
Whether sipping a steaming cup of herbal tea with a good rainy day novel, or spicing up the house with fragrant and aromatic smells from your kitchen, don’t forget to take advantage of this year’s harvest!