Maybe you’ve heard that one of the deadliest things we can do is sit around a lot. Well, modern life involves a lot of sitting. We sit and eat breakfast, sit in our cars on our way to work, sit at work, on our way home, while eating dinner, watching TV, browsing the internet, reading, crocheting, quilting, playing games. With evolution at play, eventually we’ll be born without legs! I was as guilty as most people, having lived a sedentary life for most of my life. I was also on my way to losing my legs. The inside of one ankle turned black and stayed black for a long time. There were ominous itchy, dark patches on the insides of my lower skins; when I scratched them, they took forever to heal. Diagnosing by internet was scary, with words like pre-diabetes or worse (diabetes), and Deep Vein Thrombosis. The consequences of a lifestyle of lack of exercise and bad food choices were visible all around me when I would go to one of our local fairs: There was an extraordinary number of obese people in wheelchairs who were missing one or both legs, probably due to diabetes and lack of circulation. Did this fearsome evidence of the consequences of my lifestyle stir me to exercise? Afraid not. I never had one iota of interest for sports, and the only exercises that had interested me in my “glory days” were bicycling and jogging. Well, now it seems too risky to be bicycling among moving cars, and the only Class I (a trail separate from cars) bike trail in my county goes the length of one long block from slum housing to the nearest casino. Jogging hurt my knees and gave my feet plantar fasciitis. Walking seemed impossible during the long, extremely hot summers we have where I live. Exercise seemed inconvenient, hard, sweaty and time-consuming, and the payback took a long time coming, especially as I had become obese from all this lack of activity.
Enter the rebounder! Like many, I had bought a mini-trampoline for a song at a yard sale. I didn’t really know what to do with it. A recommended exercise was jumping jacks, which seemed just as laborious and sweaty as any other kind of distasteful exercise, and just bouncing up and down seemed boring. One afternoon while I was figuring out how to use it, some music started playing on the TV. Instantly, my bounces plugged into the rhythm of the music, and I felt something I had not associated with exercise before: Fun! Easy! In that moment, I was hooked. Why had nobody told me about this kind of exercise!? It was so easy that I didn’t think it could be effective, but I figured that because I was lifting and moving my feet a lot, it had to do something, And it was so much fun that I felt compelled to do it the next day, and the day after that. I couldn’t wait to turn on some music and bounce to it and I found myself exercising sometimes several times a day. It didn’t take long to start to feel the benefits: much greater ease in daily movements like stepping onto a chair to reach a high shelf, my achy knees stopped aching, and walking uphill or upstairs became much easier. Amazingly, after half a year of bouncing, the large amounts of cellulite at the back of my thighs noticeably reduced. Nothing else had done that in the past — not aerobics classes, not bicycling, not jogging. In my enthusiasm I bought 6 cheap mini-trampolines at a sporting goods store and resold them at cost. Good thing they had a 3-month warranty, because well before 3 months were up, 5 of them failed! And on the 6th one it was only a matter of time before one of the springs would work itself off its attachment. One of them failed as soon as a friend stepped on the mat — it sagged and never recovered! I realized that I couldn’t be showing this exercise to people and have them get hurt because of shoddy equipment, so I looked long and hard at the options. I was still tempted to try to save money, but the lower-priced of the good mini-trampolines (also called rebounder) did not have a Permatron mat, which I learned was a requirement for good equipment. And there was only one rebounder with a lifetime warranty, and it had the Permatron mat, so I figured I really had nothing to lose. I justified the cost to the fact that I was doing this exercise daily and deserved good equipment, it was a one-time cost, and it was only half the cost of a cheap treadmill. And a treadmill isn’t fun, plus it’ll eventually break down, and then what do you do with it?
Two days after ordering, my new rebounder arrived. The legs were already attached — a little pull made them snap into place, and the instructions for the balance bar were straightforward. And voilá, I have the perfect setup for getting to watch TV – guilt-free! In the summer, I watch “America’s Got Talent” on my computer — this way I can fit it into my schedule a little at a time (it even keeps track of where I left off). By the way, America’s Got Talent is having an amazing season, and a lot of the numbers are musical numbers that work really well with bouncing on a rebounder. One of my rebounder customers likes to bounce to the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.” Way to go – I always thought there is something wrong with the picture of people spending good parts of their lives sitting on their butts watching extremely fit people do sports. If you want more information about this powerful fitness tool,* you can click on the yellow ribbon in the upper right-hand corner of this page — this will take you to a page that explains the rebounders in detail and has a link to ReboundAIR’s website. If you would like a little introductory class and you’re in my area, please call me or email me at (707) 357-5665 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set a time. It’s free!
To fun exercise,
*Bouncing on a rebounder rapidly cleanses the lymphatic system, which is of major benefit to the immune system.