Nov. 15, 2011— -- In the endless pursuit of fitness, we have tried running, lifting, spinning, swimming, rowing, throwing, biking, hiking and climbing -- but never bouncing.
Bouncing is the latest fitness craze, with an inexplicable herd of bouncers taking over streets, parks and gyms. Fitness expert Mario Godiva is the hip-meister of hop, all because of one special set of shoes called Kangoo Jumps.
Watch the full story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET
"They are running and rebounding sports shoes, so what they pretty much do is they reduce all the impact by up to 80 percent off your knees, your back, your spine," he said.
These shoes, which look like ski boots with special T-springs attached that flex out and recoil, were first devised for rehabilitation in Europe years ago, but are becoming popular in the United States -- 320,000 pairs sold. The T-spring can be adjusted to a person's weight.
"It's exercising smarter, protecting your knees," Godiva explained. "Rebounding gives you a feeling of euphoria, so it's also fun. We all know how everyone gets off the wagon because exercising is boring, but what this does is make you look forward to working out."
Godiva teaches several jump classes in New York City, where people bounce and gyrate to the same songs at the same time. A sort of jack-of-all-exercise trades, Godiva leads hip-hop dance, aerobics, running and boot-camp classes in these shoes, not to mention unbelievable bouncing stampedes through the streets of Manhattan in a massive "Pied Piper" effect.
While he's jumping along, Godiva said it's common for a crowd to gather and watch him work, even take photos.
"There is a big curious factor about these things because people haven't seen them," he said.
The shoes aren't cheap -- they can run almost $300 -- but can last for years, and, as Godiva attested, they are worth it for a good workout.
"You are essentially running, walking, dancing on air," he said. "Plus gravity is adding resistance, so you are actually burning 20 to 30 percent more calories because you are rebounding."
And of course, who wouldn't want to wear bouncy shoes? They are easy to use, even for the epically uncoordinated.
Watch ABC's John Berman test out the Kangoo Jump shoes HERE.
Click the next page to get Mario Godiva's tips for a healthy lifestyle.
Mario Godiva's 16 Exercise and Nutition Tips To Live By
When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, fitness guru Mario Godiva says it is important to mix-up your work-out routine and maintain a balanced diet. He offers these 16 basic exercise and nutrition tips for losing weight and staying fit.
1. Walk or jog to work -- Depending on how far you live from work you can always pack your work clothes and walk to work. If your company has a shower a jog is a good alternative to increase the caloric expenditure. Whenever you can TAKE THE STAIRS, especially if it's only a couple of flights!
2. Keep a food log and eat 75 percent of your calories for the day before 3 p.m. and eat a small nutritious dinner at least 3 hours prior to going to sleep. Anything sooner will not be used and can be easily converted to fat while you sleep!
3. Drink LOTS AND LOTS of water and eliminate soda completely! And when you think you have drank enough water, DRINK MORE! At least half your body weight in OUNCES daily! Water helps digest food, increases nutrient absorption, and makes you feel fuller. Often times your body may seem hungry when its really just thirsty.
4. Take a multivitamin daily. We eat food for nutrients and vitamins for our daily bodily functions. Taking a multivitamin is kind of an insurance policy in case you don't eat so healthy one day. Most of the vitamins in the multivitamin are water soluble and excreted through the urine if you get too much of it. Always take multivitamins with food and with your first meal of the day.
5. Eating nutritious (non-cream based), low-sodium soups for lunch is a great way to keep calories down while feeling full. Warm liquids make your body feel fuller.
6. DECREASE SODIUM LEVELS! This is a big one. Sodium causes water retention and will make you look and feel more bloated. Everything has sodium so read your nutrition labels and try to limit your sodium intake to as little as possible. The RDA is 2,400 mg. Try and eat at least HALF of that daily.
7. Eating six to eight small meals a day every 2 to 3 hours is much better than eating 2 or 3 meals. Nutritious snacks between meals will help keep you from overeating at lunch and dinner and will ensure your body uses those calories for energy instead of going into hibernation and storing calories as fat. Your metabolism is like an engine, keep it REVVING and fast by feeding it frequently!
8. Pre-Plan for the week. Eating healthy takes work and planning. Pre-make sandwiches, tuna, etc and different meals and snacks for you to just grab especially if you are on the go. Fruits, veggies, trail mix etc. Put them in plastic bags for the week and take them with you wherever you go. If you have the urge to eat, eat the healthy food you packed!
9. EAT BREAKFAST! Eating breakfast helps jumpstart your metabolism in the morning and provides energy for you to complete your tasks throughout the day and again keep you from eating too much lunch and dinner. Remember six to eight small meals a day!
10. Cut out ALL processed flour products out of your diet. Look for only 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain.
11. Eat green leafy vegetables at least once a day. They contain tons of fiber and have tons of nutrients.
12. Try and take one or two dance, martial arts, kickboxing or spin classes a week.
13. Mix up your workouts! If you have been running as a form of cardio, try biking, swimming or rowing. You body gets use to the same repetitive exercise and you plateau. Switch it up to confuse your muscles and promote great change!
14. Double your fiber intake. Fiber helps with digestion and helps you absorb more nutrients from your foods. Most people consume about half of the recommended amount.
15. Don't eat desert or anything high in sugar near bedtime! All the high glycemic carbs (sugar) will not be used for energy while you sleep and will be converted to fat!
16. Do progressive overload in your workouts weekly or biweekly. If you have been running for 45 minutes take up the intensity or the time to 60 minutes, etc. When you do the same exercise routine over and over again you will look the same. Changing the body takes overloading the muscles and changing the time, intensity, and resistance progressively.