Factor #1: My friend Katie and I had dinner at a Mediterranean buffet restaurant recently, and she suggested we walk right after eating, citing studies saying that walking for a few minutes immediately after a meal stabilizes insulin.
I looked it up (you know me!), and it has a lot of other benefits. It boosts metabolism, speeds digestion, reduces bloating, increases endorphins and serotonin, promotes better sleep, helps regulate appetite, improves learning and memory, increases circulation for better delivery of nutrients, etc.
Plus, walking with a friend is sweet. You get to catch up with each other and get some sun and fresh air and move. I especially love to go for scenic walks with my friends.
Factor #2: I love ecstatic dancing! It’s free-form movement to music. Dancing the 5 rhythms has been a fairly regular practice since 1995. I love the creative aspects of dance, letting my body move how it wants to move, exploring new movements, getting more familiar with my body, and becoming one with the music.
It’s a fun practice for self-expression and discovery, with health benefits.
Factor #3: I recently bought a rebounder so I can use it at home when the weather is bad or I don’t want to leave. (I’ve become a homebody.)
Rebounding is great for the lymphatic system, which cleans up metabolic waste and toxins in the body, improving immunity, and I’m all in favor of that! It has other benefits, too. Bouncing works the feet, calves, and hips (if you raise your knees), you can add in upper-body movements, and it is good cardiovascular exercise.
So…putting those three factors together, after I eat, I put on some music. It’s important to get the BPM right. I’ve found a couple of tunes that are 45 and 49 BPM. Not too fast, nor too slow, but perfect for bouncing.
Then I start bounce-dancing! I bounce with vigor for a minute, getting out of breath, exploring various ways to bounce (jumping, running, hopping, crossing one foot in front of the other alternatively, doing knee raises, adding kicks, scissoring, etc.).
Then I slow way down for a minute, minimally bouncing, maybe doing some upper body twists, letting my heart rate slow.
I alternative the vigorous and the slow phases, doing a minute of each, for however long the song lasts. It’s also a pleasure to discover new music for bounce-dancing! 10 minutes and experiment with the shortening the length of the slow intervals.
The beauty of bounce-dancing is it’s fun and it’s healthy in many ways. I’ve just been doing it for a few days as I remember to do it, and what I notice most is that I sleep better and have more energy.
Also, I love having strong feet and legs!
Just coincidentally, the New York Times just published an article on rebounding, aka trampolining, Bouncing Your Way to Better Health.