Do you remember being a kid and having a ton of fun jumping on a trampoline? When was the last time you got to do that? You may be excited to learn that jumping on a trampoline has many health benefits and is a great form of exercise. It has shown to be effective for people of all ages, from children through older adults.
Also known as rebounding, jumping on a trampoline is an excellent source of low impact cardiovascular exercise. In some cases, it can burn more calories than walking or jogging and can work every major muscle group in the body.
If you don’t have room in your backyard for a large trampoline, there are many smaller versions, like the Marcy Cardio Trampoline Trainer, that can easily fit in your living room, basement or bedroom, allowing you to workout anytime.
Benefits of Trampoline Exercises
There are many benefits to jumping on a trampoline, including:
- Easy on the joints
The design of a rebounder or trampoline helps to redistribute the weight experienced by the body when you land. The surface is attached to the frame with springs or bungees to absorb the impact exerted while bouncing.
A study performed by NASA in 1980 found that the force absorbed while rebounding tended to be more evenly distributed among several joints and structures, such as the ankle, back and forehead. While running or jogging, however, the impact is mostly absorbed directly by the ankle, which increases a person’s risk for injury or pain.
As a result, this type of exercise is safer than running or jogging, simply because there is less impact on the joints, bones and muscles.
- Increase lymphatic flow
The lymphatic system is a system of lymph vessels, nodes and tissues, with many important functions in the body. The lymphatic vessels run parallel to the circulatory system and filter out excess fluids from the body tissues. The lymphatic system also plays an important role in maintaining fluid and protein balance within the body.
However, unlike the circulatory system where the blood moves through the body as a result of the pumping heart, the lymphatic system relies on body movement to propel lymph fluid through the vessels.
Rebounding or jumping on a trampoline helps to move that fluid through the lymphatic vessels and help the lymph system work better and more efficiently. There is some thought that rebounding may also help the valves in the lymphatic vessels to open, which also promotes lymph flow.
- Increase immune functioning
In addition to assisting with fluid and protein balance, the lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the immune function of the body. Immunity is the body’s major line of defense against disease and infection. Lymphocytes, one of the main disease-fighting cells in the body, are produced within the organs and tissues of the lymphatic system.
The lymph fluid also carries lymphocytes throughout the body, where they will be more likely to encounter foreign or disease-causing agents. This helps to increase the immune response in order to prevent or minimize the risk of infection.
If the lymphatic system is able to function more efficiently and effectively through rebounding, the immune system will also work better.
- Stronger Bones
Jumping on a trampoline increases the G force, or force of gravity pulling you down. This additional force on the body strengthens bones, but in a much gentler manner.
In fact, it was found that even astronauts can benefit from rebounding during training and recovery from a space mission! Consistently being in a low gravity environment can cause the loss of bone mass, leading to weakness and fracture. Rebounding before a space mission can help to build strong bones in preparation of living in a zero gravity environment, while rebounding after returning to earth can help with the recovery phase.
What does that mean for you?
Regular rebounding can help to build strong bones and strengthen joints, tendons and ligaments. It may reduce the risk of pain associated with some forms of arthritis. In addition, regular weight-bearing exercise may help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a severe weakening of bones, which can lead to fractures or falls.
- Full body exercise
Rebounding is a full body strength and cardio exercise. It works all of the major muscle groups in the entire body without placing stress on the joints. This means that you can exercise longer without feeling quite as fatigued or uncomfortable as if you were jogging or running.
In addition, rebounding is an effective way to burn calories, reduce fat and build strong muscles. It may increase the effects of other types of exercises when combined. For example, someone who does a weight lifting routine before or after rebounding may see better results than someone who only did the weight training exercises.
The best part about rebounding is that it’s fun! It’s a great way to get a full body cardio and strength workout while it doesn’t feel like you are exercising. Having fund during your workout is super important; it’ll motivate you to continue doing it each day.
- Improve cardiovascular system
In addition to building strong muscles, rebounding is an effective cardiovascular exercise, helping to strengthen both the heart and blood vessels. The heart is also a muscle and it needs regular exercise in order to remain healthy, which is best done through regular cardiovascular exercise that increases the heart rate.
Just as rebounding helps to improve the lymphatic circulation, it can help with the blood circulation as well. The up-and-down movement helps blood return to the heart and avoid pooling in the legs or feet.
Someone who suffers from varicose veins may find that rebounding helps to correct them. Varicose veins are an enlargement of the veins or blood vessels in the legs and can be very painful. Rebounding improves circulation, and reduces the inflammation and discomfort associated with varicose veins.
- Improve balance and posture
Rebounding is a great exercise to improve both balance and posture. Jumping stimulates the structures in the ear that are responsible for maintaining balance. For someone who already has low balance or is concerned about falling, there are balance bars that can help prevent a fall.
In addition, rebounding engages the core, which improves your posture during and after your rebounding workout.
Risks of Trampoline Exercises
As with any exercise, there can be risks to rebounding. Make sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any health or medical problems.
The main risk associated with rebounding is falling or becoming injured. Before purchasing or using a rebounder, look for a few key safety features:
- Make sure that your trampoline has protective fabric that covers the coils or bands along the edges to prevent a fall resulting from a misstep.
- Make sure there is a safety bar or handle to stabilize you when jumping
- Check the weight limit before using
- Look for rubber end caps on the legs to protect your floor and increase stability
- If you are using a full-sized trampoline, consider using one with a safety net around it to prevent a fall off of the trampoline
Always double check your equipment before exercising to make sure that there are no holes in the fabric and that the rebounder is on a safe, flat surface.
Wear comfortable clothing that is not too tight and not too loose – you don’t want to trip over a pant leg. Make sure to wear socks and sneakers as well. Aim for around 15 minutes a day, which can be broken up into three sessions that are five minutes each if you prefer.
If you are rebounding for the many health benefits (as opposed to weight loss), you don’t even need to jump. You can simply bounce gently while bending your knees without even leaving the trampoline.
If you are doing trampoline workouts for weight loss, aim for a single 15 to 20 minute session at least three times per week. Make sure to avoid jumping right after eating or drinking, and start with a moderate pace.
In addition to jumping, there are many different types of trampoline workouts you can do. Other workouts you can do while you are bouncing on the trampoline include:
- Jumping jacks
- High knees, raising your knees as you bounce as high as possible
- Twisting jumps
- Incline push-ups using the side of the trampoline
- Planks along the top
So, go ahead! Join your kids on the trampoline out in the yard or invest in a small mini rebounder and jump away!