Last week I posted about Table Tennis as a Fresh New Fit. Another Olympic sport that doesn’t get much credit is trampolining. This past summer I caught about an hour of this on TV (not the most exciting sport to watch, but still neat). However, on my flight back to Milwaukee for Thanksgiving, I caught the following article in Spirit Magazine. I was excited to share this as I know that jumping on the trampoline is a favorite activity at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration when at my sister’s, CJ, house.
JUMP FOR JOY
Somewhere along the line, we adults forgot how to play. So Spirit teamed up with the folks at KEEN footwear to provide tips from kid experts. Here’s the final lesson in our series.
The Play Pro
Meet Nolan, a 5-year-old who just can’t seem to keep his feet on the ground. Locate your nearest trampoline, then heed his high-flyin’ advice: “If the trampoline has a safety net around it, remember to close the entrance when you’re inside. Then, bend your knees and start jumping. You should get higher and higher every time you bounce. If a friend is on the trampoline with you, you can use the bounces from his jumps, too – but make sure not to get too close to each other or you’ll both fall. When you get tired, just lie down!”
Jumping on a trampoline may seem like child’s play, but experts assure us that bouncing translates to a great cardio workout. A report published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that 10 minutes on the trampoline provides the aerobic equivalent of 33 minutes of running. It gets better: Trampoline exercises are low-impact, so they’re easy on bones and joints. Oh, and jumping engages your core, too.
The Grown-Up Facts
Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play explains the science of why trampoline-jumping is so much fun – and so good for you.
- “There is a universal human urge to leap upward. That’s what got us to the moon. This impulse particularly strong within kids. By moving your body freely in three-dimensional space, you experience the joy of defying gravity while simultaneously increasing dexterity.”
- Nolan is at an age when a lot of brain development is taking place. By jumping on the trampoline, which stimulates the cerebellum, he is only enhancing such growth. And because there are direct connections between the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex, he is building physical skills as well as cognitive and emotional ones.”