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It’s a Leap Year!

I get very excited when I realize it’s a Leap Year. I’m not sure why, but that extra day feels like a bonus. What will I do with those extra 24 hours?

I tend to associate February with the heart–Valentine’s Day, family, self-care, and, of course, cardiovascular health. I think we can all agree that the last month, perhaps even longer, has been about the gloomiest time in recent memory, with dark, grey skies and rainy, snowy days, and some very heavy world events. Even the most positive, upbeat and energetic person has to be feeling a bit consumed by the collective blues. When I feel this way…I want to jump! We know that exercise is a natural mood elevator, and endorphins, the positive mood-enhancing natural chemicals released by all types of exercise, are triggered by jumping on a trampoline or a Jump Board. But there’s also the fun factor of jumping up and down which makes you smile, laugh, and generally feel pretty happy. Did you know that rebounding is also terrific for building strength, increasing explosive power, and improving stability? The Jump Board requires and develops a lot of core strength and really challenges the stabilizer muscles.

Adding the Jump Board is one way to advance your Pilates practice with a number of other added benefits. Five great reasons to jump are:

  1. Rebounding is good for the lymphatic system, which removes waste products from the body. Boosting the lymphatic system can lead to a better night’s sleep, reduced bloating and inflammation, and fewer digestive problems.
  2. Rebounding can get your heart rate up, which is good for your cardiovascular health. This may depend on the resistance and the skill of the practitioner, but rebounding can be both anaerobic or aerobic exercise.
  3. Rebounding is gentler on the joints than running on pavement and aerobic exercise. Using a Jump Board takes gravity out of the equation, and can be a relief to feet, knees, and hips.
  4. Rebounding is good for bone health. While it can benefit some people with osteoporosis, it’s always a good idea to talk to your family physician before making a significant change in your fitness routine.
  5. Rebounding develops coordination. There’s no shortage of choreography on the Jump Board, and a variety of physical orientations that challenge every part of the body.

This month, Retrofit Pilates is focusing on all the ways Pilates can help you take a leap! That might mean trying a Cardio Reformer class for the first time, but it might also mean finding that thing that helps boost your mood–and if it’s a Pilates class, we’ve got all kinds of options! Follow us at @retrofitpilates for exercises, tips and information for anyone who’s brand new to the Jump Board, or more advanced routines that might challenge your brain as well as your body!

Pam Ferguson
Retrofit Master Instructor
Lead Instructor/Operations Associate