Research shows that trampoline fitness is better for your body than running.
It’s that time of year again: The indulgence of December is behind us, and we are New Year’s Resolved to shed those few extra pounds we never wanted as a holiday gift.
But there’s good news for those of us whose knees start to ache as soon as we dig our running shoes out of the closet. Research by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) shows that trampoline fitness burns the same calories as running in less time with much less stress to your muscles and joints. Plus, bouncing on a trampoline is just way more of a hoppin’ good time!
NASA launched the trampoline fitness craze after it published findings that using a mini-trampoline, or rebounder, was a 68 percent more efficient form of exercise than jogging. Prolonged exposure to zero gravity was causing astronauts to suffer muscle atrophy, and the space agency discovered that the gentle impact of trampolines helped them get their bodies back in shape more safely and effectively than running on a hard surface. The ACE study took the research a step further, concluding that exercising on a trampoline can burn your goal calories in two-thirds the time, but feels 10 percent less strenuous than equivalent running. That means you can cram the benefits of a 30-minute workout into 20 minutes, and the trampoline’s cushioning effect plus the fun factor makes you feel like you can do even more because it doesn’t feel too hard or put so much pressure on your feet and legs.
Of course, studies aren’t the only factor to consider before jumping onto the trampoline fitness craze. Read on for other reasons that adding rebounding to your workout routine is better for your body than running.
- Your poor, aching knees. Even if you search high and low for the most comfortable shoes and run with a gentle gait, running on a hard surface is jarring to your joints. Jumping or even running on a trampoline is easier on your body because its surface moves with each bounce and absorbs about 85 percent of the impact. Switching to low-impact exercise might be especially important for women, as research by the University of Colorado Hospital states that women may be six times more likely than men toexperience knee injuries from high-impact activities.
- The convenience factor. Bad weather, dangerous traffic, and poorly lit paths can give even the most dedicated runners pause. Jumping on a big trampoline outside or a rebounder in your basement is a convenient way to exercise without any hassle. If you jump indoors, you can even catch up on your favorite TV shows while exercising. Unlike bulky treadmills, rebounders can be adapted to fit any space.
- It helps your body remove toxins. Although both running and rebounding have similar effects on cardiovascular health, trampoline fitness does a hands-down better job of stimulating your lymphatic system, which plays an important role in immunity by disposing of the waste, bacteria, and damaged cells in your body. Unlike your cardiovascular system, which flows thanks to the pumping of your heart, your lymphatic system has to be manually stimulated by your body’s movement. Its vessels flow up the body, so it requires muscle contractions to open valves and keep lymphatic fluid and waste products moving against gravity. Although any exercise helps, the up-and-down bouncing of trampoline fitness significantly increases lymph flow by causing the valves to open and close at once.
- It can even fight cancer. Cancer cells are among the toxins that lymphatic fluid collects and drains from the body. Since research supports rebounding as one of the best ways to significantly increase lymphatic flow, trampoline fitness may help reduce your risk of cancer.
- You get better balance and coordination. Research shows that balance improves across almost every age group when trampolines are used regularly. With practice, people become better at maintaining their equilibrium despite unexpected movements, strengthening their balance, timing, coordination, and reaction time. Attempting to hold a position as the trampoline moves also improves core strength. A 2011 study found that when elderly men and women used mini trampolines for 14 weeks, they were less likely to suffer falls. A 2013 study found that children with developmental disabilitiesexperienced marked improvement in motor function and balance after 12 weeks of trampoline exercise.
- Stronger bones. Moderate amounts of running are good for your bones, but too much running can elevate your levels of the hormone cortisol, which can seriously degrade bone health. Athletes who run about 56 miles a week show bonedensity that is lower than levels found in sedentary people. By contrast, NASA cited rebounding as one of the best exercises for rebuilding lost bone tissue in its astronauts. The increased G force rebounding places on the bones strengthens them with less risk of injury than other forms of exercise. It is so effective that it can even help prevent and reverse the damage of osteoporosis.
- It makes exercise fun. There’s no denying that bouncing on a trampoline is fun - and any time exercise is fun, you are much more likely to stick with it. That’s no small factor when it comes to exercise, which many Americans notoriously resist. Unlike running, which can be plagued by boring monotony, bouncing on a trampoline can be done in so many ways that it feels like a different exercise every time. A Cornell Food and Brand Lab study found that people who considered their physical activity to be fun ate lessafterward than people who did not enjoy their workout. In other words, feeling good about physical activity has a direct correlation to positive decisions about food and overall health.
Although running may be one of the most popular cardio exercises, accepting rebounding as a more effective workout is no longer a leap of faith. Study after study shows that trampoline fitness offers better health benefits and is easier on your body than equivalent running. And best of all, it doesn’t feel like exercise – which is the biggest reason people are embracing trampoline fitness to fulfill their New Year’s Resolution to embark on a healthy lifestyle.
JumpSport Fitness Trampolines come in all shapes and sizes to help everyone from active kids to active aging adults enjoy this fun and effective exercise in the comforts of their home. Contact JumpSport to find out more about how you can reap the benefits of trampoline fitness.