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Trampoline To Fitness

If you've ever lost weight jumping on a trampoline, or catapulted your fitness to exciting heights, you can probably empathise with my thoughts as I looked out at the seemingly abandoned jump smart trampoline adorning the backyard of our holiday rental. Day after fattening day.

After all... trampolines are for kids, aren't they? It's years since I was on one, and my biggest memory is of the electric shock that zapped me as I jumped off. Oh, and the wonders it did for my hairstyle!

But there were also some dim memories of the exhilaration of bouncing to glory and back, performing my modest repertoire of trampoline tricks, and coming off puffing and blowing and glowing.

Trampolining feels so darned good!

Until, of course, you see a 10-year-old in action.

Well, there were none of them around this vacation, and I dimly remember Tony Robbins pronouncing the trampoline as the be-all and end-all of stress-free low impact exercise. And the darned thing did look inviting.

Tick 'em off... lose weight, build muscle and bone strength, organs, cells, tissues and immune system... Not bad incentives, are they?

The old mini trampoline did get a bit boring, I must admit, but a full sized trampoline like this, even without the current safety fad of net walls, offered a lot of scope for rebounds, jumps and gymnastics.

Aah, enclosures... trampoline safety and injuries. I read one note from a veteran asking a doctor whether he'd recommend trampoline exercise to improve his balance. The answer went something like:

"No matter what your age, trampoline exercise is associated with a high risk of injury. Falls off trampolines or mini-trampolines, or incorrect use of such equipment, can result in serious joint and soft tissue injuries. Simple balance exercises such as standing on one leg or activities such as tai chi can improve balance without the high risk of injury associated with trampoline exercise."

Hmmm. But then, the physical benefits of trampoline exercise are summed up by NASA as "one of the most effective and efficient exercises, yet devised by man".

Rebounding, they say, lowers cholesterol, increases energy, improves coordination and balance, reduces stress and tension, and improves muscle tone. Plus, you can exercise any time, for nothing!

Enough ruminating. Grab a trampoline, and just do it!