Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Cabin Fever Bounce
If winter’s got you feeling snowed in, cooped up or [insert your favorite cabin fever metaphor here], join the club. Uninviting winter weather provides a great reason to stay inside and do nothing (besides eat and surf the net). In fact, unless you are a winter sports enthusiast or a dog, winter provides one of the best excuses ever NOT to exercise. Unfortunately, all that not-exercising and lazing around for months on end can mean looking and feeling pretty much like SLUDGE (as one of my clients put it recently) come Spring.
I love to exercise, especially when it involves being outside with Stella, the Amazing Australian Shepherd (pictured above in Autumn). Sadly for her, my love of outdoor exercise is decidedly less when even just taking a walk means donning multiple layers of itchy outer- and underwear and freezing my face off under a blank, steel gray sky. (Sorry, Stella.) Not to mention the fact that the sole two perambulatory methods available each winter in the Town of Montague resemble unlikely dance crazes from the ‘60’s. First there’s the potentially bone breaking Sidewalk Hobble (a slow, flat-footed slide motion repeated gingerly while picking your way along near-glacial ice formations). Then, there's the perpetually thrilling Street Chicken (a short-gaited trudge performed exclusively along narrow, heavily sanded shoulders as pedestrian-blind drivers speed by in salt-encrusted vehicles, narrowly missing your person). Either way: YUCK!
Thank goodness I have a REBOUNDER! Yes friends, this handy little device (also known as a mini trampoline) is how I manage to stave off the sludge factor during these long New England winters. It’s also a sure way to put a smile on my face, as few serious adult activities appear sillier than bouncing up and down to music for twenty minutes in the privacy of your own home.
A few of my favorite things about rebounding include: fun, convenience, cardiovascular boosting and lymphatic stimulation. (In case you’ve forgotten, healthy lymph function is essential for organ and cellular detoxification, clear glowing skin and a strong immune system. Large muscle movement and anti-gravity postures, both addressed by jumping, are the primary methods of enhancing lymphatic flow. Lymphatic drainage massage and dry skin brushing are others.)
If you’ve never tried rebounding, consider starting with a kit like the Urban Rebounder, available at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $99 inclusive. (No kickback here, I just like the thing and use it myself.) The Urban Rebounder comes with everything you need to begin: a sturdy folding rebounder, an optional removable stability bar and a DVD featuring two complete (very silly looking) workouts – beginner and intermediate – plus a helpful introduction to the moves and safety tips.
Once you master the moves, you can do them in any order while listening to your favorite tunes instead of watching the instructional DVD again. (It's great for the first hundred times, though.) I’ve been bouncing to CCR lately, customizing a personal soundtrack by fast forwarding through the slow songs and using hand-held 1-pound weights to include arm work. A quick twenty or so minutes is all it takes to put a spring in my step that lasts all day, despite the treachery outside. Now, if only I could teach Stella the Snow-Roller to bounce, we'd both be happy...