There’s plenty to suggest that rebounding comes with a whole host of health benefits, including weight loss, improved cardio-vascular fitness, boosts to your immunity, and better circulation. Anecdotal evidence from rebounding enthusiasts across the globe also comes with stories of improved mood, balance, confidence, digestion, and general wellbeing.
But does rebounding lower cholesterol? As one might expect from an aerobic exercise boasting such a broad range of health perks, rebounding is likely to be an effective aid when it comes to keeping your cholesterol down, especially when incorporated into an active lifestyle and accompanied by a healthy diet.
What’s more, the relatively low impact range of motion afforded by rebounders, their portable nature, and their ease-of-use, make them an ideal piece of fitness kit for your living room, home gym, or back garden.
What is Cholesterol?
Let’s start with a quick science recap. We see cholesterol talked about a lot in today’s world – from adverts for wholewheat cereals to advice from medical professionals.
Everyone seems to take it for granted that we need to keep cholesterol levels down in order to stay healthy, or at least keep them in check. But what exactly is cholesterol?
Cholesterol, in and of itself, is not a ‘bad’ product of the body. In fact, we need cholesterol to carry out many important tasks, including hormone production, cell growth, and vitamin absorption.
The cholesterol in our bodies is predominantly produced by our liver but can also be supplemented by the foods we eat.
This is often where problems start to creep in. Eating too much food which is high in saturated fats can result in a surplus of what is called low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, effectively a ‘bad’ form of cholesterol.
It is this form of cholesterol that, if there is too much of it rattling around in our blood-stream, can join with other substances to form deposits in our arteries. If these deposits harden and restrict arterial flow, this can lead to a whole host of issues, including heart disease.
In order to stay healthy, we not only need to limit the amount of LDL in our bodies, but also increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
This is commonly described as being a beneficial form of cholesterol which, amongst other things, can also help transport LDL back to the liver, where it can be broken down and expelled.
How can rebounding help lower cholesterol?
How might rebounding help with all of this? It’s often seen as common knowledge that regular exercise can help keep our cholesterol at healthy levels, although the exact mechanisms for how this works have sometimes been more difficult for scientists to establish.
There are, however, undoubtedly links between obesity and high levels of cholesterol. Weight loss has been shown as being linked to lower levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood.
As an effective cardio workout, rebounding can not only help burn calories in the moment, but can also result in a higher resting metabolic rate in the minutes and hours after a session. This can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy size, particularly as part of a balanced diet.
In addition to helping you lose weight, there is also some evidence to suggest that rebounding can boost the functions of our circulatory systems, lower blood pressure, and stimulate the lymphatic system. This system has a range of important functions, including detoxification, immune-response, and the transporting of important fats and proteins around the body.
It is also in part responsible for filtering out harmful or unwanted toxins and byproducts, including excess levels of cholesterol. By stimulating the lymphatic system and helping improve general circulation, rebounding may in turn help the body rid itself of unwanted and potentially harmful cholesterol.
There has also been some suggestion that aerobic exercise, whilst simultaneously reducing LDL levels, can boost HDL levels.
Not only are HDLs seen as being a beneficial form of cholesterol, they can also help carry LDL through the body’s circulatory systems back to the liver, where they are broken down and eventually expelled.
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As such, boosting HDL levels through rebounding or other forms of aerobic exercise can help keep harmful cholesterol levels in check.
Other studies have indicated that regular exercise such as rebounding may increase the size of protein particles responsible for carrying both good and bad lipoproteins.
Larger protein particles in this regard are viewed as being preferable to smaller, denser particles, as the latter can allow lipoproteins greater scope to squeeze into the linings of the heart or blood vessels, resulting in potentially harmful build ups of arterial deposits.
Regular exercise and the healthy, flowing, fluent circulatory system it promotes can help guard against such buildups. It would seem that rebounding is a good tool in helping keep things running smoothly.
An ex-triathlete, fitness coach and writer with a Masters in Sports Physiology. Fitness is my passion and I've had my fair share of home fitness equipment tried and tested!