Is Jumping on a Trampoline a Healthy Form of Exercise?
By Genevieve Cunningham
As a kid, jumping is nothing but fun. Very quickly after we learn to walk and run, we start trying to jump. We learn to love hopscotch and jumping rope. We can’t wait for parties with bounce houses. We work hard to master jumping jacks. But perhaps most exciting of all is jumping on a big, bouncy trampoline. As we get older, jumping becomes something we do on very rare occasions. In fact, it may even hurt to jump. But does it have to? Or can we enjoy jumping just as much as we did during that magical childhood?
Is Jumping Better Than Running?
As we get older, we often replace jumping with running, especially as it pertains to exercise. Instead of jumping on a trampoline or grabbing a skipping rope for a few minutes of fun, we force ourselves to run miles and sprints in order to lose weight. But is running actually better? Or would we be better off jumping our way to better health?
According to research, jumping may be the better choice. Jumping is an exercise that engages large muscle groups to spend energy and burn calories. A jump is quick and powerful and requires full engagement of the lower muscle groups. It also requires the use of the abdominal muscles for stabilization of the body. Jumping strengthens the muscles as well as the cardiovascular system. While running also requires these muscle groups and improves your cardio, studies indicate that when exercising at a medium or high intensity, you’ll get more benefit and burn more calories with jumping.
What is the Advantage of Using a Trampoline?
For many, jumping is the preferred exercise, but unfortunately their body disagrees. Jumping can be especially difficult on the joints. The impact can cause discomfort to already aching joints, or in some cases, may create new pains that weren’t present before. If this is a concern in your life, a trampoline may be exactly what you need. The main benefit of taking your exercise routine to a trampoline is the reduced impact.
Jumping on a trampoline still allows you to maintain your cardiovascular level. It raises the heart rate and improves blood flow, but it does so while also reducing impact on the joints by about 40 percent. For anyone who suffers from joint problems, this is a significant advantage that makes the entire exercise process easier and more enjoyable.
Is a Trampoline Friendly to My Joints and Spine?
Because of the low impact that the trampoline brings to your workout, the trampoline is considered joint and spine friendly. However, there is a big caveat to this idea. If you want the benefit of trampoline use without bringing potential injury or harm to your body, it’s important to use the right kind. An outdoor trampoline, the kind made for backyards and marketed toward children, isn’t necessarily a good choice for exercise. These will certainly help burn calories and engage the muscles, but they also bring an injury risk. These trampolines are so risky, the American Academy of Pediatrics actually advises against them. If you want to jump on a trampoline, consider a rebounder trampoline instead. These are small and low to the ground -- a mini trampoline of sorts. They take the impact off of the joints and spine without increasing the risk. They are marketed toward adults as exercise equipment instead of a fun backyard toy. Be picky when choosing a trampoline so that you can protect your body while still taking advantage of a trampoline workout.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Trampoline?
Besides the advantage of a lower impact workout, using a trampoline for exercise brings other benefits as well. Some of the most well-documented benefits of trampoline use include:
- Improves bone density - As we age, we lose bone mass. We’re more likely to suffer with conditions such as osteoporosis with each passing year. Trampoline jumping may actually help us increase bone density. Research suggests that regular trampoline users have higher bone density at both the hip and spine than their non-jumping friends.
- Weight loss - Jumping burns calories, and burning calories leads to weight loss. Though losing weight can seem daunting, jumping on a trampoline makes it a lot more fun.
- Strengthens the body - Jumping strengthens multiple areas of the body and overall health. Because of muscle engagement, it strengthens the muscles and helps build muscle mass. It also helps strengthen the cardiovascular system, builds stamina, and strengthens the bones. The health benefits of jumping are numerous.
- Lymphatic stimulation - It’s thought that simply jumping up to 30 minutes can stimulate the lymphatic system. With the lymphatic system stimulated, the body is better able to rid your body of toxins, bacteria, and waste. The result? A much healthier feeling overall.
Is a Trampoline One of the Most Fun Workouts?
If the benefits of mini trampoline workouts aren’t convincing enough, consider this: Trampoline exercise is fun. Jumping on a trampoline takes us back to childhood. It makes us feel energized and alive. It makes us smile and lowers stress. With the fun factor and all of the potential benefits, why not try it for yourself? There are a million forms of exercise to choose from in your journey to the healthiest life. Fun and effective? Trampolines may bounce you in exactly the right direction.
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