Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rebounding Exercise for Better Brain Health

               In the last three decades we have entered an accelerated age of technology and the knowledge we are obtaining is guiding researchers to discover deeper levels on how the brain works .The consensus is to create a better brain must use what nature has given us in a new way. The three pound universe that sits above our shoulders has the amazing ability to give back what we put into it. The more we ask of our brain, the more its capable of improving and evolving throughout our entire life.

            Theres no owners manual for the brain, but we know it needs stimulation, nourishment, time for repair, and proper management. Movement of our body is critical for bringing oxygen to this complex organ. When we have a plan to eat better, move better and think better our brain responds favorably. More and more research is showing that three dimensional movement of the body helps stimulate better brain activity.

            One of the most beneficial ways to move the body for better brain health is rebounding. Bouncing on a mini-trampoline may not be your idea of a very strenuous aerobic exercise. It may not even strike you as having any significant health benefits, but both of these thoughts would be incorrect. The "against gravity up and down motion circulates oxygen to all the tissues and creates stronger nerve pathways between the left and right brain. Rebounding is the term given a low-impact exercise that burns more calories than jogging. Trampoline bouncing can also reduce stress levels while strengthening your heart and improving circulation to vital organs. These physiological effects are one of the best ways to maintain optimal mental function. Plus, during rebounding, the lymphatic ducts expand and lymph flow has the ability to increase as much as fourteen times normal. This process helps create a stronger immune system and detoxifies your body.

            I highly recommend rebounding exercise as a routine it has adaptability and the potential to modify based on your personal fitness level. This form of exercise is easy on your joints, muscles, back and can be done in the convenience of your home. Rebounding exercise completed for twenty minutes or more, at a moderate intensity, increases the bodys endurance at a deep cellular level. The process of your muscles contracting, and working against gravity during rebounding exercise act like a pump to circulate the blood back to the heart for fresh levels of oxygen. Regular exercise has been proven to prevent clogging of the arteries, and a diminished blood supply to the brain. Exercises like rebounding work the entire body simultaneously to stimulate brain activity and increase circulation.

            Rebounding exercise also stimulates the brains visual centers during and after exercise to maintain better balance and coordination. Jumping on the rebounder with your eyes focused on a fixed point helps improve visual coordination; while hopping on one foot and then the other helps maintain one's sense of balance. This results in better brain coordination for athletic and daily activities. Moving the body up and down with the ability to move in all directions helps stimulate better brain activity. "When you are rebounding, you are moving and exercising every brain cell just as you are exercising each of the other body cells," according to Alfhild Akselsen, Ph.D., of Austin, Texas.  Dr. Akselsen uses rebounding to treat individuals with neurological disorders.

            Rebounding provides an increased G-force (gravitational load), which strengthens the musculoskeletal systems. Mini trampoline jumping also protects the joints from the chronic fatigue and impact delivered by exercising on hard surfaces. The best rebounding device is a mini-trampoline with a flexible jumping surface measuring 28-36 inches in diameter and set 6-9 inches off the ground. The best jumping mat is attached to the frame with double coil springs, providing a good rebound while remaining firm on the downward bounce. Unlike a regular trampoline, the rebounding device isn't meant for bouncing high or performing gymnastic tricks.

            We all know that exercise does the body good, but few may realize the health benefits associated with exercising our brains. Although there is no firm scientific proof yet, many scientists think exercises can help the brain stay young. Lawrence Katz and Manning Rubin maintain in their book, Keep Your Brain Alive, that certain "neurobic" exercises may actually help prevent memory loss and increase mental fitness. 2

            Contrary to what many people think, brain cells do not die off as people age. Instead the branches of brain cells, known as dendrites, thin out, thereby becoming less effective, Lawrence Katz author of " Keep Your Brain Alive" explains. Basically, brain cells learn by making new connections with one another through growing dendrites. Using them more often helps tap into the full power of your brain and enhances its nerve connections.

            Applying this concept of "neurobics its best to do your rebounding routine in a non-routine way, For example, you can keep your brain flexible by incorporating nonlinear movements. When you're a right-handed person, you use the left side of your brain to control your right hand. When you simply change which hand you're using, you're bringing online underused brain pathways and exercising them, Katz explains.

            For example, imagine during your rebounding routine that you move your trunk, arms and legs in ALL planes of movement. Start out first jumping up and down to warm up. Next, add gentle twisting from side to side for spinal rotation. This increases movement of the fluid around the brain to help eliminate toxins and increase oxygen. The key is to keep the steady pace while adding different movements of the arms and legs. Get creative by adding movements in ALL dimensions. When ending your rebounding routine add at least a one minute slow bounce cool down before dismounting.


 * Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Please consult your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. The instructions and advice presented are no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling.

Better Brain Tips

1)  Make rebounding YOUR routine by exercising every day for 21 days.

2) Set a baseline by jumping for 1 minute the first day and double your time every day for 5 days. (This will be 16 minutes by day 6).

3) Depending on your fitness level continue to add 1-2 minutes until you reach 30 minutes.

4) Drink an 8 oz. glass of room temperature water directly after rebounding to increase the elimination of toxins.

5) To stimulate the brain while rebounding listen positive music, audio books, or personal development programs to stimulate your positive thoughts.

1.)    "Longevity" by w. Lee Cowden, MD
2.)    Lawrence Katz and Manning Rubin  " Keep Your Brain Alive"
3.)    Rudolph E. Tanzi & Deepak Chopra. Super Brain. Harmony Books, 2012-11-06. iBooks.
4.)    Alfhild Akselsen, Ph.D., of Austin, Texas, who uses rebounding to treat individuals with neurological disorders.


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