Jump For Joy: Trampolining
by Sasha Kanal
Thought trampolining was just a lively leap? Well think again, Sasha Kanal explains the science behind the bounce
We’ve all been there, bouncing on the garden trampoline with our children, grandchildren or family members, or simply watching the spectacle from afar. The sound of laughter piercing the air and a feeling of weightlessness and being ever so slightly out of control once you land! Trampolines dot many a back garden in Sussex and are synonymous with childhood and fun.
But if you think bouncing is purely the reserve of youngsters or a quick 2-minute go on a summer evening with little ones, then think again! According to data collected by NASA, rebounding exercise or trampolining is 68% more efficient than jogging when it comes to burning calories and supporting a healthy metabolism, not to mention the whole host of other benefits it brings.
MORE OUNCE FOR YOUR BOUNCE
So, what’s so special about rebounding and how you can practice the activity in the safest way possible?
- Feel the Force! Trampolining is a low impact activity compared to jogging or other aerobic activities that use a hard surface. The impact from the bounce is naturally absorbed by the trampoline, in turn reducing the risk of injury to your muscles and joints. When you jump in the air on a trampoline, you experience a momentary state of weightlessness at the top of the jump. Yet, when you reach the bottom of your jump and land, your body will experience as much as 4G’s of gravitational force, twice the force of gravity! It’s this shift in gravity that is super beneficial to every muscle and cell in our body as it helps kick start the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for detoxifying the body and removing waste products, bacteria and damaged cells.
- Immune Booster: The lymphatic system is a key part of the immune system as lymph contains a high number of the white blood cells responsible for fighting infections in the body. Trampolining causes the valves in the lymphatic system to open and close which can increase lymphatic flow and therefore white blood cells up to 15 times – now that’s a boost!
- Cellulite Free: The fact that trampolining works every cell in your body means a unique calorie burning opportunity is created. But there’s more. Anecdotal research has shown that it activates the thyroid gland in a particular way. Because more blood is pumped through the thyroid, it stimulates the gland to clean itself and our system of stored fat, in this case potentially the stubborn fat associated with lifestyle factors such as cellulite.
- Play It Safe: If you really want to minimise risk, it’s probably better not to use the garden trampoline, but rather buy yourself a small rebounder or mini trampoline (available at any good sports shop). Here the emphasis is not on jumping as high as possible, but to make smaller movements with the lower body and all whilst maximising upon the fact that you are working against gravity.
CAUTION: If you have any long-standing health concerns, always consult your GP if you’re starting a new exercise.