Looking for a way to combine fun with fitness? Try a trip down memory lane at one of the many trampolining centres popping up around Australia and get your bounce on.
If you’re one of the many that prefers your exercise to present itself as a fun activity (i.e.: gyms and serious running programs make you break out into a sweat – and not in a good way), then trampolining could be your next big thing.
And if you like your sports fun but want maximum bang for your buck, you’ll be pleased to know NASA conducted some pretty comprehensive research on the benefits of trampolining while trying to find an effective way to help astronauts recover and regain bone and muscle mass after being in space.
They found 10 minutes bouncing on a trampoline is a better cardiovascular workout than 33 minutes of running!
Here a few more facts to get you…jumping for joy from the good folk at Bounce Inc:
• Bouncing on a trampoline stimulates the flow of oxygen in a way that helps rid the body of toxins and waste.
• Muscle tone and suppleness is improved and your body fat percentage is reduced by trampolining, and regular trampolining improves posture and general muscle health. John Beer, Olympic coach to the British trampolining team, says core-stability muscles are almost constantly engaged to keep you stable and balanced, meaning a tauter, stronger stomach and lower back.
• Although trampolining provides an intense workout for the muscles and bones, the mat or pad absorbs 80 per cent of the shock from the rebound – this means an all over workout with significantly less impact on joints than sports like tennis or jogging offer.
• Bouncing on a trampoline regularly can up your metabolic rate, meaning you burn calories more efficiently.
• The increased G-force from trampolining makes cells stronger and boosts your immune system as a result – which can help those that suffer from hay fever or find themselves picking up every cold and flu doing the rounds.
• Trampolining can help reduce the risk of bone conditions such as brittle bone disease, fractures and osteoporosis by placing repeated slight stress on the musculoskeletal system, which encourages your bones to become stronger to cope with the pressure of rebound.
• Trampolining can help combat depression, anxiety and stress by increasing the amount of endorphins released by the brain.
• Bouncing on a trampoline increases awareness of your body and a sense of balance and coordination. You learn to control the coordination of the arms and legs while bouncing and to adjust the position of your body accordingly.
The health benefits are undeniably there, but as with any other sporting activity, it is important to note injuries can occur, and they can be serious. While a rebounder (more commonly called the “mini” trampoline) is a simple way to keep things under control, you can keep yourself safer on a full sized trampoline, or commercial trampoline centre like Bounce Inc by jumping to your level – or below it.
There is an expression “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” and this applies to getting to tricky on a trampoline. It can be tempting to try things like flips (and you may even land a few good ones before disaster falls), but it is best to get used to jumping and doing the basics for at least a few sessions before giving it a go. You should also talk to staff about a spotter.
Want to try it yourself? You can either keep it simple and jump in the privacy of your own back yard (or for a flashback moment, hit up fitness equipment retailers for a mini trampoline), or if you want to get fancy, you can access professional trampoline training through national centres like Bounce Inc - bounceinc.com.au - or FlipOut - flipout.net.au.