The Benefits of Trampolining
There are so many benefits to trampolining; it’s a wonder not everybody is involved in bouncing back to health. Jesting aside, it really is a great and fun way to get fit and it has lots of other benefits too.
One of the lesser known but more popular facts is that studies have shown that the activity of trampolining is one of the most beneficial methods to genuinely reduce cellulite. YourDoc comments: See the separate article on cellulite if you want to know more.
So, surprising as it sounds, trampolining is a form of exercise which is better for you than running and many other forms of exercise and it can also be done in your own home. Before you mums and dads rush out into the garden to your children’s trampoline – you can use this or there are specially designed mini trampolines or rebounders which you can also buy and you do not need to share with your four and seven year olds.
Jogging versus bouncing?
Many people do not enjoy jogging or running. Too often we see people on the street with long, pained faces, struggling to find the enthusiasm to negotiate traffic and road works to get healthy by putting one foot in front of the other. It is therefore possible to enjoy the same benefits and more, by putting those feet together!
The main disadvantage of jogging is the physical stress on lower limbs and feet. “G” forces at work are incredible and can actually QUADRUPLE a jogger’s weight factor. For example, a 150 pound person while jogging can exert as much as 600 pounds downward pressure on weight-bearing joints each time a foot hits the ground.(4)
Using the trampoline takes up to 80% off the stress of your weight-bearing joints. Using a trampoline is a wonderful option for seniors, physically-challenged, those recuperating from accidents or injuries. It’s also excellent exercise for those who have been sedentary and are starting an exercise programme. (4)
What are the specific benefits?
With trampolining, the springs take away all the impact of the road, and as a result, the activity has been shown in test to be three times more beneficial to you than running (2). So a ten minute bounce is the same as a half hour run!
See for yourself by looking up the wealth of information available at numerous websites dedicated to the benefits of trampolining and rebound. (See references and links at the end of this article)
Rebounder or trampoline exercise has many important health benefits as follows:
- Stimulates your metabolism.
- Increases oxygen capacity.
- Improves your sense of balance.
- Increases oxygen circulation to tissues.
- Improves the circulation of the lymph through the lymph glands
- Strengthens the heart (Cardiovascular health)
- Increases energy and sense of vitality
- Firms and tones the muscles
Most of all though it makes you smile, laugh and is great FUN! This has proven health benefits in itself as it generally means that you keep doing it if you enjoy it.
Trampolining is a great holistic health giver, bringing both physical and mental benefits to adults and children alike. In comparison to jogging, for example, trampolining is more effective, faster: with a ten minute session providing equivalent benefits to a half hour run, yet, says NASA, also being 68% more effective! (3)
“Rebound exercise is the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man.” (2)
NASA says, “…for a similar level of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running…” (4)
More details on the health and wellbeing benefits
Trampolines and rebounders increase your muscles’ strength and fitness. The benefits this, and the increase to your pulse rate brought about by jumping, brings to your heart and circulation ensures that oxygen is pumped round your body more efficiently, making you feel healthier and more alert. Plus it’s a great way to keep your weight down. (Always get your doctor’s approval before trying any exercise following a heart attack or any serious illness)
Unlike some sports like jogging and tennis, trampolining or rebounding has comparatively low joint impact for a high impact, intensive exercise routine. This is because your vertical acceleration and deceleration is soaked up by the trampoline pad, which takes up over 80% of the shock; whereas hard surfaces such as roads do not have enough give to do this. This means that trampolining protects your joints whilst exercising your muscles.
Trampoline exercise is strenuous and the repetition of the jump action puts the bones under repeated slight stress; this helps your musculoskeletal system build up and improves bone mineral content. Each landing from a jump is equivalent to twice the force of gravity: the strength this allows you to develop over time helps to prevent brittle bone disease, or osteoporosis. Because the trampoline pad is bouncy and soaks up a large proportion of the impact of your landing, your bones and joints are protected whilst being strengthened.
“Exercise can be helpful in building and maintaining strong bones. Exercise that forces you to work against gravity – so called weight bearing exercises such as walking or jogging [and rebounding] are beneficial …If you are at risk for osteoporosis, your doctor will most likely include exercise as part of your overall treatment program.” (5)
Not only does improved circulation pump clean oxygen into your brain, making you feel more alert, but also the physical activity you perform whilst trampolining will make you feel happier, more positive, and even more self confident. Endorphins, the positive mood-enhancing natural chemicals released by all exercise including jogging, cycling and even sex are triggered by trampolining; but, added to this, the sheer fun factor of jumping up and down will make you smile, make you laugh, make you feel really happy. It’s unavoidable: it’s hard to feel blue when you’re bouncing, especially in the fresh air.
Trampoline exercise has been proven to increase your metabolic rate, helping your body to process nutrients more efficiently. This helps to you keep your weight down.
Co-ordination and Motor skills
One of David Beckham’s training session targets would have been to help develop his ball control skills. Similarly, the NASA trainee astronauts need to learn to perform skilful activities whilst unsupported by gravity. Trampoline exercise is a great way to develop the skills that allow you to undertake a number of items requiring concentration at the same time: bouncing, balancing, maintaining the body’s position, and anticipating the next action. This is proven to have a positive impact on bilateral motor skills, as well as allowing trampolinists to control different muscles and limbs at the same time as one another.(4)
The trampoline or rebounder provides a set space in which you can exercise. You don’t need to get to the gym or tennis courts, you don’t need to find a route for your run or bike ride, you don’t even need to get changed into special clothes (apart from a good sports bra, for women). The trampoline is in one place, easy to get to, offers privacy (unless your neighbours can see you bouncing over the fence!) and any comfortable clothing is suitable for your trampoline exercise.
As outlined in this article, Trampolining has many health benefits in addition to cardiovascular fitness. Dr Dicken Weatherby says “The regular use of a trampoline can greatly improve your health. I recommend that my patients bounce on their trampoline for a minimum of five minutes a day to increase their cellular oxygenation, strengthen weak muscles and joints, improve aerobic capacity, and most importantly cleanse and detoxify the lymphatic system”.(2) Trampolining could be an answer to those who want to keep up their fitness but have struggled with joint difficulties. Trampolines are easy to use, and last but not least a fun way to exercise!
About the Author:
Adam Reynolds is the owner and manager of Springfit Gymnastics and Trampoline club who run at several venues in the South East of England. They specialise in classes for pre-school children to adults of all abilitties including ‘freestyle’ disciplines such as parkour and free running. They aim to introduce as many people to the benefits of acrobatic sports as possible at a recreational “fun” level. “We guarantee a good experience in class and believe that enjoyment of sport is key to improvement and development.” – Adam Reynolds.
1. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 1990: 10; 401-408
2. The Miracles of Rebound Exercise; Carter, Albert E.; The National institute of Reboundology and Health, Inc. Edmonds, Washington, 1979.
3. Journal of Applied Physiology 49(5): 881-887, 1980, which confirms many of the statements previously made in The Miracles of Rebound Exercise, 1979. The research was performed by the Biomechanical Research Division, NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, in cooperation with the Wenner-Gren Research laboratory, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
4. Journal of Applied Physiology 49(5): 881-887, 1980, which confirms many of the statements previously made in The Miracles of Rebound Exercise, 1979. The research was performed by the Biomechanical Research Division, NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, in cooperation with the Wenner-Gren Research laboratory, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
5. National Osteoporosis Foundation, www.nof.org
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