No one can deny the fun involved in trampolining, but not everyone is aware of the wide variety of benefits that can be achieved from bouncing. A study published by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) has concluded that trampoline exercise is a much more efficient form of fitness than running and most other aerobic and strength workouts. This is not particularly new information, as exercise workouts using fitness trampolines or mini-tramps were common in the 1980s, but these benefits are not limited to fitness trampolines alone. You can improve your health and the health of every member of the family through trampolining.
Our guide to the benefits of trampolining will show you how the use of a trampoline can improve physical fitness and strength, heart health and weight management, mental health, and other health benefits. In addition, we’ll provide you with a few popular workout routines which can be executed on any size of trampoline as well as provide advice concerning who can make use of a trampoline for fitness. With the facts that this guide presents, you will be well-informed when it comes to how trampolining can provide you and your family with plenty of health benefits.
What health benefits can you expect from trampolining?
Regardless of what size of trampoline you use, assuming that it has the capacity to support your body weight, you can take advantage of a wide variety of health benefits. These benefits can be achieved whether using a formal workout routine or simply enjoying a trampoline, which is great news for children and adults alike.
Physical Fitness and Strength
Physical fitness and strength are especially important when it comes to the common tendency for children and adults who spend too much time in front of a television or staring at a Smartphone. A trampoline is a fun way to put the couch-potato mentality to death.
Coordination & Agility
Coordination and agility deal with muscle control and coordination throughout your body. Though a video game might enhance hand-eye coordination, trampolining spreads this coordination throughout the entire body. Bouncing increases your awareness of your body’s position and balance and teaches you to coordinate and position your body properly. It requires concentration and anticipation of the next move or positioning. Trampolines have been used in sport cross-training for improving these traits, especially agility for several decades and were used for training the first astronauts for balance and agility in space.
Muscle Toning and Posture
Because your body is often out of balance when bouncing on a trampoline, your body forces itself to reposition to regain balance. This repositioning improves proper body alignment or posture as well as strengthening and toning the muscles used to retain balance. With trampolining, your core muscles are constantly engaged in the process of balancing your extremities. This results in toning abdominal and lower back muscles, which not only help to keep you slim, but also help to improve your overall posture. Besides these benefits, rebounding on a trampoline will also increase leg strength.
A more subtle benefit of trampolining is what it adds to strengthening bones. Because bouncing places your musculoskeletal system under repeated stress, your bones and joins become stronger in order to accommodate for the stress. This strengthening also improves bone mineral density and improves joint health. What really makes trampolining a great way to improve bone strength is the fact that most of the force and pressure are absorbed by the springs and jump pad producing a lower impact on your bones and joints. Prevention of brittle bone disease, osteoporosis and fractures can be achieved through trampolining.
Heart Health and Weight Management
Closely related to each other, heart health and weight management can also be improved by trampolining. Better yet, they are improved without a great deal of stress or a considerable time commitment.
NASA scientists determined that only 10 minutes of bouncing on a trampoline provided a much better cardiovascular workout than 33 minutes of running. According to their study, “for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the bio-mechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running.” Bouncing also helps to stimulate arterial flow in such a way that it assists in the removal of toxins in your blood. The removal of toxins includes cholesterol and heavy metals which contribute to inflammation. Because of the achievement of better circulation through trampolining, you can expect to strengthen your heart muscle as well as reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
An issue with many exercise programs when it comes to weight management is the impact that they have on joints and muscles, especially in individuals who are overweight or obese. The dangers of high-impact exercises like jogging, playing tennis or other sports which are played on a hard surface often produce injuries and reduce the likelihood that an individual will continue to engage in the activity. Because the springs and jump pad of a trampoline absorbs up to 80 percent of the impact, trampolining is a very low-impact exercise that makes it easier for overweight persons to participate. In addition, the low-impact of trampolining make it more suitable for individuals undergoing rehabilitative type of exercises.
Improved Metabolic Rate
NASA astronaut training stumbled upon this particular benefit when using trampolines in connection with G-force training exercises. Increased G-forces felt on the cells in your body causes them to adapt and become stronger. As they become stronger, they burn calories more efficiently and at a higher rate, which increases your metabolic rate. This increase in metabolic rate has a profound effect on using up the calories you consume so that you lose weight or maintain a lower body weight.
Improvements to mental health can also be achieved through trampolining. Because it improves muscle coordination and balance response, it keeps your brain active, which increases mental activity and contributes to improved mental health.
Stress is one of the main contributors to a wide variety of health issues. Stress is typically linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Bouncing helps to combat both of these mental health issues by releasing of endorphins in the brain, which promotes relaxation. The reduction of stress contributes to improved sleeping patterns as well as an increase in energy. Regular sessions on a trampoline are one of the best ways to unwind from the pressures of life.
Increased blood and oxygen flow achieved through trampolining also increases the activity of enzymes in the blood stream. This increase in enzyme activity helps to heighten mental alertness and promote quicker reaction time. In addition, the added benefit of constant balance adjustments improves vision and cognitive reaction.
Additional Benefits of Trampolining
Though the benefits already listed are impressive on their own, they are not the limit of how trampolining can help provide benefits to you and your family. Here are a few more benefits that you cannot afford to ignore.
Helps Treat Type II Diabetes
“The findings suggest that mini-trampoline rebound exercise is beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes and can serve as a useful exercise approach in the management of cardiovascular risk in diabetes,” concludes a study conducted by Nigerian scientists. Rebounding exercise improves several contributing factors to the management of type II diabetes including: lowering insulin resistance, blood lipid profiles, and a reduction in body mass, especially around the core. The study also concluded that a continuation of trampolining over the long-term could bring about substantial improvement in the condition.
In our earlier discussion of improvements in metabolic rate, we noted that G-force was a contributing factor to the strengthening of cells and their subsequent calorie burning efficiency, but there is an added benefit achieved through the strengthening of cells through trampolining. That benefit is an increase in immunity because stronger cells and cell tissues become better able to fight off invading pathogens. Consequently, regular bouncing on a trampoline just might prevent colds, flu and other common illnesses from getting you down.
One of the most important health benefits achieved from trampolining is fun. Besides making it a lot easier to want to exercise, trampolining is something that can involve the whole family. Having fun as a family or with friends and neighbors is a great way to build community and sense of belonging along with getting some great exercise. The mental and physical benefits of fun go well beyond health benefits by creating an environment that strengthens interpersonal growth.
What are some trampoline exercises or workout routines to follow?
Though the exercises and workout routines listed below utilize mini-tramps or fitness trampolines, most of them can also be executed on a full-sized trampoline as well. The only caveat to keep in mind if you choose to do these exercise routines on any trampoline is to be certain that the trampoline with support your body weight. With that bit of advice in mind, here are some common trampoline workout routines and exercises you can use to improve your health.
Livestrong Trampoline Workout
Livestrong has a set of four trampoline exercises that can help to improve various aspects of your health and fitness. They include:
• Walking and Jogging. Be sure to wear shoes that will not slip on the jumping matt surface and walk in place raising your knees higher than you normally would when walking. Set a good pace, and then slowly increase your pace into a jog. You can increase pace and length of time as your fitness level improves.
• Bouncing and Jumping. This is pretty natural when you step onto a trampoline. You can vary how high you jump, whether jumping on two or one legs or alternate between heal and toe touches as you jump and bounce. You can use weights and increase intensity as your fitness level increases.
• Twisting. As your confidence and coordination increases, you can add twists into your bouncing. Jumping and touching your elbow to the opposite knee is a basic twist to start with. Twisting your waist in the air and landing with your feet in a perpendicular position to your shoulders is a twisting variation to consider as well.
• Jumping Jacks. These are a great full-body exercise that is often difficult for people to do on the floor because of the impact on the joints. Doing jumping jacks on a trampoline allows you to get the benefits without the damage. Start with just the leg motions until you become stable and confident enough to add in the arm movements. You can add in variations as your fitness and confidence levels increase.
WebMD Trampoline Workout
WebMD posts a trampoline workout which includes bouncing and prancing or walking, just like the Livestrong workout above, but it adds another element that can also be of some benefit when integrated into your workout routine; trampoline squats. Here is how they are done:
1. Stand on the trampoline with your feet together and your arms at your sides.
2. Jump into the air.
3. While in the air, spread your feet shoulder width and put your arms out in front of you like you are sitting in a chair.
4. Land in a squatting position with your knees parallel and your arms in front of you.
5. Bounce back into your starting position.
6. Repeat this cycle for 20 repetitions.
The Bari Workout
This is another trampoline workout routine to consider for cardio, strength and stamina building. Health.com provides a 15-minutes trampoline workout from New York City’s Bari Studio.
Who can use a trampoline?
Trampolines take up to 80% of the stress of bearing your weight off of your joints and bones. Because of this, just about anyone can participate in trampolining as a means of achieving better health and fitness. Even seniors, those who are physically-challenged and individuals rehabilitating from accidents, injuries or surgeries can reap benefits from trampoline exercise when closely supervised and exercises are performed within the limits of the individual’s level of fitness and physical capacity. Trampolining is an excellent way for someone who has not exercised in a very long time to slowly break into a new exercise routine. Two cautions need to be kept in mind:
• Consult a health care professional before taking up this or any other exercise program.
• Be sure that the trampoline you are using will support your weight.
Trampolines are not only a fun way to stay fit, but also provide a wide variety of health benefits you probably weren’t aware of. As long as you follow some basic safety rules, start slowly and build up your fitness level and confidence, even you can reap the rewards of improved health from trampolining. Get started today and feel better tomorrow by bouncing your way to better health.