Trampolines are Great Exercise
Growing up many children are exposed to trampolines as part of elementary school PE classes or in their friend’s backyards. If they are really lucky, their parents invest in a trampoline and they become the most popular kids in the neighborhood. The feeling of “nearly flying” is incredible and many adults remember fondly their times spent jumping on a trampoline. What they don’t necessarily realize, is that trampolining is a great form of exercise.
In recent years much of the publicity about trampolines cites the risks of accidents and injuries, which are possible with any form of exercise or childhood play. What these reports neglect is the research data proving the efficacy of trampoline exercise. The Journal of Applied Physiology published a report by NASA scientists that concluded that jumping on a trampoline is better than running with regards to oxygen consumption, heart rate, and “the magnitude of the bio-mechanical stimuli.”
Who wouldn’t want an exercise that is 68% more efficient than running — and much more fun. Studies prove that 10 minutes on a trampoline is equal to 33 minutes of running. Best of all, there is much less joint and bone stress a trampolining is a low impact exercise.
Benefits of Trampoline Exercise
There are numerous health and physical benefits to exercising on a trampoline, whether it is a full sized backyard or gym model or a mini trampoline in the home or office.
As an aerobic workout, trampolining has been found to accomplish the following:
- improve cardiovascular efficiency
- boost metabolic rate to burn more fat
- tone the stomach, legs, and back
- strengthen core stability muscles
- boost immune system
- improve overall fitness
Because the trampoline is a rebound exercise, 80 percent of the shock is absorbed by the equipment making it trampolining the ultimate low-impact workout. This reduces the risk of injury and can strengthen bones and improve bone density. Regular workouts can also reduce the risks for osteoporosis and brittle bone disease.
Other Benefits of Trampoline Exercise
As with any regular exercise, there are psychological benefits to a trampoline workout. Exercise produces endorphins which improve mood, creating that “runner’s high” as well as reducing depression, anxiety and stress in the short-term. With regular use, a trampoline can improve overall mental health as well as boosting self-confidence. In addition to increasing energy levels, rebound exercise can facilitate better sleep and, therefore, lead to better memory, focus and attention levels.
As with any other exercise regime, it is important to check with a primary physician before starting a regular trampolining program. As long as individuals, or parents, seek that advice and are aware of safety concerns, there is no reason to ignore the benefits, and fun, to be had by exercising on a trampoline. Many of the greats use trampolines to exercise. They included movie stars and sport stars like Scott Tucker.
How to set up a trampoline safety ?
Setting up a trampoline is not very difficult, but it takes at least two people. Spacing the springs properly is a crucial part of set up and can cause your trampoline to turn into a dangerous piece of equipment if not done properly. Here are a few tips on how to set up a trampoline safely and properly.
Pick a permanent spot for the trampoline. This should be a place that is easily accessible and easy to monitor if there will be children using it. Choose the right size trampoline for the space. A small trampoline in a big space might not take full advantage of the area, while a large trampoline in a small space could look out of place and cramped. Safety should also be considered here. Are there trees nearby that may have branches overhanging? Are there rocks underneath or a wall on the side? The safety of the jumper should always be taken into consideration so that a small accident doesn’t become something more serious.
Start off with a flat even foundation. If the ground is uneven, local nurseries sell sand or dirt which can be used to fill in holes and smooth out the surface. The supplemental dirt should be packed in, in order to avoid sinking later on. Clear away any rocks or sharp objects around the perimeter of the base. Cut away branches and foliage that overhang near the trampoline.
Put together the base poles all around. These poles should snap into one another. Each set should be securely in place. After the base is set up, start attaching the springs. This is where the second person can be extremely helpful. The best way to do it is to find two points directly across from each other. Each person attaches a spring at that point and pulls the net over. Count about three spring slots over in opposite directions and do the same. Continue this clockwork motion until all the springs are attached and the net is tightly secured evenly around the trampoline. Another alternative is to attach the springs in a cross like formation. Start at the same two points. Instead of counting three spring slots, find the slots directly across from each other that form an X or a cross with the first one. This is much like cutting a pie in half and then in half again. Continue this process until you have all of the springs secured.
How to measure a trampoline ?
The size of a round trampoline is measured by the diameter of the metal frame (not measure your mat since trampoline mats stretch over time)
- To find the diameter of your round trampoline, start at the outer metal edge of the trampoline.
- Measure straight across to the opposite side, to the outer metal edge of the trampoline.
- Then measure the frame diameter again, but measure perpendicular to where you just measured.
- Take the average of the 2 measurements, and that should be your approximate trampoline size.
- Measuring twice this way will help ensure that you get an accurate measurement in case the frame is bent or damaged, or the trampoline is not sitting on level ground.
It is best to visualize your trampoline as a clock from a top-down view and take two measurements — one from the 12 to 6 o’clock position and a second from the 3 to 9 o’clock position. The average of these two measurements is your trampoline frame’s approximate size. Almost always, you can round to the nearest foot. For example, if you get a measurement of 13 feet 11 inches, you can round up to 14 feet.
How to reduce static shock on trampoline ?
Many people have experienced static shock when jumping on a trampoline. You’re with a friend and you both touch and feel a shock or see a spark. The shock after jumping on a trampoline is when an electrical charge is built up in the person, changing them from being neutral to being negatively or positively charged. Once charged, then touching something that is conducive to electricity, a static shock occurs. The cause is usually dry air and the materials that rub against each other.
It is important to reduce the effects of static electricity because not only can the shock be slightly painful, it can be a nuisance and cause serious injury. The material of the trampoline surface is usually the culprit, if the surface is made of nylon, this a good conductor for electricity. Going bare foot on the trampoline and wearing cotton clothes will reduce the shock, but won’t eliminate it altogether. If you prefer not to go barefoot on your trampoline, then you need to experiment with which soles of the shoes reduce the shock. Synthetic soles are usually the worst sole to wear to reduce static shock, as a matter of fact, synthetic soles are a great conductor of electricity. Dry skin and wintertime make for a great combination as a conductor of electricity, so keeping the skin moisturized and drinking plenty of water will help reduce static shock too.
Another way to reduce static shock on trampolines is to ground yourself with a metal object, like a car key. You can touch other objects first with the key causing the spark (shock) to fly from the key instead of your finger. Many people have purchased ‘Discharge straps’, but these can be cumbersome for jumping purposes. Installing a misting system near the trampoline will reduce the dryness of the air around the trampoline and reduce the occurrence of static electricity.
Experiment with the above suggestions to find out which ones reduce the static shock the best. You may find none work or they all work.
Low-impact exercise is something that’s absolutely worth looking into for any kind of regime of physical fitness. Mini trampolines make it easy to practice rebounding, which is sort of like jumping up and down like a little kid, except with more focused intentions. However, to get the full effect of rebounding, it’s probably better to act like a little kid, because the free movements of children are sometimes the very goal of fitness. There are plenty of benefits that come from this kind of exercise, and one of the more controversial comes from reports of improved vision.
How does this exercise actually improve the eyes, and how can one exercise to get that maximum benefit? There are actually a few different opinions on these questions, and it’s too much to cover even in a chapter, but some of the basic ideas are as follows:
Any kind of exercise that’s positive will have positive benefits on the entire body. Getting the body to move means that all of the cells are moving, and this can help keep the tissues vibrant, flexible, and strong. Jumping is then very good for the eyes, because the eyes are made of cells, like anything else, and the movement stimulates growth and development. But this kind of low-impact exercise also helps people to relax, and move more freely, like a child. This can help with vision according to some schools of thought, because the eyes tend to tense up to focus, when natural vision is unfocused.
There was an eye doctor named William Horatio Bates who, in the early 20th century, came out with some findings about vision that are often used in the arguments supporting rebounding and improved sight. He felt that corrective lenses were not necessary at all, and people merely needed to learn how to use their eyes again. This included exercising them, just like every other part of the body needs exercise.
Although his theories are very interesting, and even encouraging, they have not held up very well in light of contemporary medical findings. There may be some truth to it, and there are no real formal ways of exercising the eyes with the trampoline, so the best way to test the theory is to start bouncing and learn to enjoy it. Fortunately, that’s not difficult to do.