Trampoline sports can provide an amazing array of proven health benefits; they strengthen muscles, increase stamina, improve balance, coordination and reduce stress. NASA scientists, who have done extensive research preparing astronauts for their unique working environments, confirm that “rebound exercise (on trampolines) is the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man.” And trampolines aren’t just for kids. The repetitive bouncing motion of trampolining actually has many health benefits that make it appropriate for people of all ages and almost all health statuses.
- Lower-Impact Cardiovascular Fitness
When you jump on a trampoline, the flexible surface moves with you as you land, reducing the impact of landing. So, unlike other forms of cardiovascular fitness such as jogging – where the impact of making contact with the ground can lead to bone and joint injuries of the ankles, knees, and hips – trampolining is less likely to generate these types of impact-based injuries. All the while, the jumping motion still enables you to increase your heart rate and breath rate, thereby improving your cardiovascular fitness when performed regularly at a moderate to vigorous intensity. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends American adults receive a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise to promote cardiovascular health.
- Improved Lymphatic Function
One of the greatest benefits of trampolining is the benefit it offers to the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays an important role in immunity, bathing cells throughout the body in lymph fluid to collect cellular waste and move it toward the appropriate waste removal system, whether the skin, lungs, liver, or kidneys. The lymphatic system runs vertically along the extremities, but unlike the cardiovascular system (which runs in a similar fashion, with the heart constantly pumping to keep blood moving through the system), the lymphatic system has no pump to keep lymphatic fluid and waste products moving.
Rather, the system requires muscular contraction to move waste up the system and away from the extremities. Exercise of almost any kind can help generate this movement, but the up-and-down bouncing of trampolining is particularly effective because it’s relatively easy to perform and stimulates the lymph system’s one-way valves to open and close simultaneously, increasing lymph flow substantially as it works against gravity to move up the lymphatic system. This keeps waste products moving, clearing the body of toxins, and improving overall immune function.
- Improved Balance and Coordination
Many people struggle to maintain balance the first few times they jump on a trampoline; however, trampolines are actually quite good for improving balance and coordination across all demographics. With practice, you become better at maintaining your equilibrium despite unexpected movement patterns, and also more adept at predicting your body’s movements based on how you land, enabling you to recover faster. In essence, your balance and coordination improve.
Separate studies have proven that balance is improved in almost every demographic when trampolines are used regularly. For instance, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology found that when elderly individuals used mini trampolines for 14 weeks, their balance improved and they were less likely to experience a forward fall. And in another 2013 study published in Research in Developmental Disabilities, researchers found that children who engaged in a 12-week exercise intervention with mini trampolines saw marked improvement in motor function and balance at the end of the study.
- Fun Form of Exercise
And probably one of the most unique aspects of this form of exercise is that Trampolining is fun! and there are few people who would argue otherwise. There’s something about the feeling of flying that’s invigorating and rewarding, and anytime you can engage in exercise that’s fun, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Additionally, a 2014 study released by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that individuals who viewed physical activity as exercise were more likely to eat more afterwards and be more fatigued and less satisfied with their workout. On the other hand, those who viewed physical activity as a fun pastime ate less following their activity and were more likely to view the experience as enjoyable.
Choosing a Trampoline
Trampolines may all seem more or less the same, but there are differences you should be aware of before you make a purchase. Generally speaking, price and size are going to be your two biggest determining factors when selecting a piece of equipment, but it’s important to understand your options. In addition to owning a trampoline you also now have the option of Indoor Trampoline Parks such as Bounce Trampoline Sports which offer multiple activities on trampolines.
It is always important to remember to check safety regulations and follow instructions carefully when jumping on trampolines. So be safe, have fun, and get fit!
By Michael Gross
Michael is a pioneer in the burgeoning indoor trampoline park industry. He is managing member of Bounce! Trampoline Sports, overseeing the development and operation of 8 locations currently for this franchised brand. His trampoline park located in Valley Cottage, NY was the first of its kind in the tri-state area when it opened in November of 2011. Michael is a founding member of the IATP (international assoc. of trampoline parks) and on the ASTM committee establishing standards for the indoor trampoline park industry. Michael has been involved with health oriented physical activities his whole life and continues a daily regimen of cross fit training at his home in the heart of the Catskill