Trampoline: Good Exercise?
When your kids reach a certain age, they are bound to start bugging you for a trampoline.
The matter of even owning a trampoline is a controversial issue: In the one camp you’ll find parents who think it might be a lot of fun and probably good exercise. Other parents consider it to be far too dangerous. I found myself torn between the issues. At first I thought it might be a great idea, but then my 5 year old son broke his leg on the trampoline and I changed my opinion.
Before getting rid of our newly bought trampoline I decided to do some research. I talked to doctors about it and they said that trampolines are actually to blame for a lot of breaks, especially during the summer. However, they were quick to assure me that there are just as many breaks from biking, skateboarding and other summer fun stuff.
A friend gave me great advice: She said that they have had a trampoline for a long time, without any accidents. She added that she enforced certain rules from the start, and she allowed no exceptions. So I thought I would give it a try. We already had the net and all the other safety gadgets in place, but now we added some rules: There would be no tricks, only one or two people can jump at a time, and only kids of the same age and weight together. Sure enough, it paid of. We’ve had our trampoline now for 5 years and no more accidents, not even bumps.
One of the reasons I was willing to give it a second chance: Huge physical and emotional benefits, not only for the children, but for our whole family. I used to bounce on a trampoline as a kid, but I never thought that as an adult I could get just as much joy out of it. I felt light as a feather and twenty years younger.
I looked up some additional benefits and I was surprised:
1. Trampolining (as it’s called) seriously strengthen your leg muscles. Now although I suspected as much, I had no idea that it also strengthen the tendons and ligaments around the joints, that improve movement. This in itself can reduce your chances of developing arthritis.
2. Believe me, you just jump for a few minutes, and you can feel it! So it is obviously a great aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping strong.
3. I thought it might not be the best exercise for older people, but it turns out that I was wrong. Trampolining is actually a low impact activity that gym instructors recommend for just about anybody. So grandma can have just as much fun on the trampoline with the grand children.
4. This sport is recommended for children with learning disabilities and those with cystic fibrosis or brain injuries. In fact it helps all children develop better coordination.
5. Trampolining is also a tremendous help in the fight against obesity. It is a fun tool for both parents and children who need to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
6. This sport is also known to boost energy levels, stimulates the metabolism, strengthen the immune system and improves blood circulation. Now, granted, this fact is true for most exercise, but this particular exercise is fun, which makes it much easier to stay consistent.
One benefit that is a huge factor for many people who are struggling with food addiction or overeating is that it gives you energy, bust depression and takes your mind off the food. I never feel like binging after spending 20 minutes on the trampoline. In fact, I usually feel invigorated, toned and strong.
As a home school mom, I find the trampoline to be a great source of exercise. My kids can take a quick break from school work by burning off some extra energy on the trampoline. When they come back they are alert, happy and ready to get some more work done, much faster.
So I would certainly recommend a trampoline for your family, however, always err on the side of safety. When it comes to our children, we can never be too careful.