I’ve had a dysfunctional relationship with exercising my entire life. My flings with treadmills, weights, pilates reformers, yoga mats, and medicine balls have been intense, and brief. At least I walked a couple of times a day for about 11 years when Norfolk Terrier Rigby was part of the household. But after he died 18 months ago, the only body parts I’ve been moving fast and furiously are my fingers over the keyboard to write articles and my tongue to do interviews. I joined the gym at the Y a few blocks from my house, but made it there just a handful of times.
When my body started warning me it would fall apart if I didn’t get moving soon, I decided to spring for a piece of exercise equipment that’s been intriguing me. It’s called a rebounder, and although it looks like a mini trampoline, it’s designed for fitness, not for recreation. Bouncing on it reportedly will do a world of good for my entire body, from improving my balance to boosting my lymphatic system, from strengthening my bones to toning my muscles. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Science revealed that exercising on a rebounder is twice as effective at improving aerobic fitness and 50 percent more efficient at burning fat than running. Sounds mighty good to me.
After researching the best rebounders, I settled on a brand called Bellicon, which has one gushing review after another, many from women in their fifties and sixties. This low-impact bungee suspension system doesn’t have a single metal spring so it moves smoothly without making a squeak. The unit arrived this week, and it was a cinch to attach the six sturdy legs and two side supports. I didn’t need a single screw or tool. I’m going to need the support arms for a long time. Without them, I’d undoubtedly bounce right onto my face.
I watched a few videos and started bouncing minutes after putting the rebounder together. Bouncing is easy to do – and actually fun – but there’s no question it makes an impact on the body because I was out of breath after a couple of minutes. Remember, I’m miserably out of shape. So I’ve been taking it slow, doing five-minute sessions a few times a day. My goal is to work my way up to 20 minutes at a time. I can wear PJs during my workout, and need only cotton grip socks so I don’t slide around.
Take a look at the Facebook Live I did yesterday so you can see how the Bellicon works your body and read all about it on its well-done website. I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that this isn’t an inexpensive purchase. I paid $900, which included two super stable support arms and a comfort pad that extends the surface on which you can bounce without hitting the bungee cords around the perimeter. It’s a lot less expensive than a Peloton bike (aargh, spinning), and about the price of an annual gym membership.
My new rebounder promises to be a keeper, but I’ve been known to fall in love with a piece of exercise equipment before, only to fall out of love in short order. Does that make me a commitment phobe? If the rebounder and I break up, I can always use it as a coffee table.
I’ll keep you posted.