When I was travelling in Europe, I noticed trampolines of all sizes dotting the backyards of charming little houses. Trampolining seemed to be a popular activity among the kids, until I saw their parents jumping alongside them too. Both kids and adults always looked like they were having a blast.
Having grown up in a trampoline-less household back here in Malaysia, I didn’t have many opportunities to jump on one, much less attempt a somersault and other wild stunts that the European kids were doing. It seemed like a load of fun and I was itching to test it out.
The opportunity finally came when I discovered that one of my friends owned one, and a huge one at that. I gingerly stepped onto the bouncy netting and tested it with a hesitant hop. Five minutes in and I was having an insane amount of fun. I was bouncing around the trampoline, challenging myself to do higher and higher jumps while laughing maniacally whenever I “fell”.
Before I knew it, I had been jumping on the trampoline for a solid 30 minutes. Sweat was pouring but instead of feeling like I couldn’t go on (like I usually do on a treadmill), I wanted to try out more trampoline stunts! And that’s when I got curious. Was jumping on a trampoline pure fun, or could it also help with health?
After doing some research, I discovered that there are a ton of health benefits from some trampoline fun, and here’s why you should start:
1. You’ll burn up to 450 calories in 1 hour of jumping
Of course, this depends on your weight, sex, and intensity of workout, but the number typically ranges from 300 calories to 450 calories per hour . Some people have developed trampoline workouts that can even burn up to 1,000 calories an hour!
2. It’s low impact and won’t hurt your joints
Low impact doesn’t mean ineffective, it just means that it doesn’t put pressure on your joints or stress your body out. Swimming is a low impact exercise, but so is trampolining. Because of its elasticity, the trampoline mat absorbs much of the impact from every bounce you take so it’s a suitable exercise for those who can’t afford to strain their joints.
3. It’s 68% more effective than jogging on the treadmill
A NASA research found that “for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running…”  Because of this, NASA astronauts train on trampolines before heading to space.
4. Get stronger legs
Jumping on the trampoline repetitively strengthens your muscles as they contract and work to push you upwards. If you do this often enough, your leg muscles will get stronger naturally.
5. Improve your balance
A 12-week study in 2013 found that regular trampolining helped improve the balance and jump heights for boys who didn’t regularly exercised. Jumping on a trampoline requires you to control your body while in the air so you can land in the right manner, which helps with balance. You’ll also be constantly reorientating your vision (because you’re moving up and down all the time) which can improve your coordination. 
6. It’s cardio, but fun
Who says doing cardio always has to leave you huffing and puffing and feeling like you wanna die? Jumping on a trampoline might be fun, but it also increases your heart rate and pumps oxygen throughout your body.
7. Build stronger bones
Besides consuming enough calcium, regular exercise is key to preventing osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises forces your body to resist gravity, which stimulates cells in the body to builds new bone . While trampolining isn’t exactly weight training, it does gently impact your bones without stressing them out.
8. Tone your entire body
You’d think that jumping on the trampoline uses only your leg muscles, but it’s actually your entire body that’s getting a workout. In order to stay balanced on the trampoline, you need to engage both your core muscles and your leg muscles. If done regularly enough and in the right manner, trampolining can definitely help tone you up.
9. Release your stress
Jumping on the trampoline is fun, especially when you get to experience that moment of freedom you get in zero gravity each time you take a jump. Some people compare it to flying, and that’s always fun!
10. Improve your sleep
According to a study at the University of Konstanz in Germany, learning to trampoline can lengthen the duration of REM sleep (the segment of sleep that helps in learning and problem solving). This is because trampolining requires you to learn unfamiliar patterns of motor coordination which could help with sleep .
“Sounds great!” you say. “But I don’t have the money or space to get a trampoline in my backyard.”
Very true indeed. Thankfully, trampoline parks are getting more and more popular this side of the world. We tested out Jump Street Asia in Petaling Jaya the other day and it was a bag of fun! The trampoline park is loaded with different sections for jumpers of all skill levels so even if you’re a newbie to the world of trampolines, there’s something for you.
While it’s very fun, you’ll also need to practise some caution when using a trampoline, as accidents could happen if you land in the wrong angle or collide with a friend. Kids shouldn’t be using a trampoline unsupervised and you shouldn’t be trying things you’re not ready for yet! Be sensible and have fun!
What are your favourite workouts or tricks to do on the trampoline? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!