Is Rebounding Good Exercise?
January 26, 2015 MVP Blog comments
I’ve been reading a lot about rebounding as an excellent exercise for all ages. The benefits seem almost miraculous, but I don’t find any articles in Well about this form of exercise. Have you looked into it?
A: Many websites do tout almost miraculous benefits from jumping on a rebounder or, as it is also known, a minitrampoline, claiming that such workouts improve fitness, build bone, spur lymphatic drainage, fight depression, and goose the health of every cell in your body, since they supposedly experience beneficial G-force pressure during a workout.
These claims are unproven. Enthusiasts often cite a 1980 study by NASA scientists showing that rebounding required more effort than running while it was gentler on joints. More recent science disagrees. By most estimates, rebound exercise is, at best, aerobically mild, requiring less effort than bowling and about the same as playing croquet. Even competitive trampoline athletes get less of a workout per minute than most runners.
There also is little or no scientific evidence that rebounding benefits the lymph system, bones, mood or cellular health.
But rebounding does improve balance in older people. A study published in November in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics found that older women were less wobbly after 12 weeks of gentle, supervised rebounding exercise, although women who completed standard balance training showed similar improvement.
Exercising on a trampoline, even a mini one, also has risks. Trampoline-related injuries send many people to emergency rooms or orthopedists every year,epidemiological studies show. Interestingly, in adults, trampoline injuries typically involve joint sprains, while small children tend to tumble off and require stitches.
The upshot: If you decide to use a rebounder, exercise caution, and if your primary goal is fitness, consider bowling, a safer activity that requires more physiological effort.