Does Rebound Exercise Help Lymphedema?
Mini trampolines are more than fun. Rebounding exercise also aids in your body's function. Your lymphatic system has no pump and cannot move fluid on its own. When you jump up and down on a rebounder, or trampoline, you are helping push that fluid throughout your body.
Your body is continuously cleansed by your lymphatic system. The lymph fluid circulates when you move and transports waste, toxins and other debris away from your tissues. The lymph nodes provide an additional filter for waste. When this system is operating at peak performance, your body's immune system is strong. If an obstruction occurs, swelling of an arm or leg can result. This is called lymphedema.
You can do rebounding or jumping exercises in the privacy of your home with a mini trampoline, which is available at sporting goods stores. The exercises consist of bouncing, jumping, running, twisting and various combinations of those movements. Every day your body has a different energy level; exercise within your limitations for each day.
Vitality Magazine reports that muscle contraction, force of gravity and internal massage can enhance lymphatic flow. Bouncing on a rebounder will contract your muscles as you control the landing and initiate the jump. As you jump, gravity is affecting your cells. You are pushing against gravity on the way up, or accelerating, and working with gravity on the way down, or decelerating. Your cells respond to these changes by releasing toxins and the fluid begins to flow freely, which decreases swelling. This up-and-down movement also provides a massage for your cells which further promotes cell strength. According to Well Being Journal, even light bouncing will strengthen your immune system.
The "health bounce" is performed for two to three minutes once or twice a day. In the health bounce, stand on the trampoline and lightly move your heels up and down. Your feet remain in contact with the base. To increase the challenge of the bounce as you progress, move your heels from side to side in a twisting motion.
If your arms or legs are swollen or inflamed due to lymphedema, bouncing on a mini trampoline can offer relief from the swelling. If you have balance problems from the inflammation, The American Holistic Health Association suggests holding onto a bar or chair when bouncing. Always seek your doctor's guidance before beginning any exercise program.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.