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1.jpgTrampolines conjure visions of five-year olds at a birthday party, jumping themselves silly. And if you have ever felt the urge to join the kids on the trampoline but hesitated out of fear of looking silly or injuring yourself, here is some good news. You don’t have to look for an excuse anymore because ‘bouncing’, ‘jumping’, ‘trampolining’ and ‘rebounding’ (all names for jumping on the trampoline) is one of trendiest ways to get fit – and it’s fun.

Although the benefits of trampolining have been under research for several years, its fitness potential has been fully appreciated only recently. According to research carried out by NASA, 10 minutes of trampolining produces the same heart rate levels and oxygen consumption as 33 minutes worth of running. Added to that, trampolining is less demanding on the heart, making it a more efficient exercise than running.

Trampolining tones the body, especially the stomach, back and legs because it engages the core stability muscles as you try to keep your balance. In addition it improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system and blood circulation; it strengthens the body and boosts metabolic rates while burning calories and fat.

Rebounding is a low impact exercise suitable for all fitness levels. The equipment absorbs about 80% of the shock from the rebound making it easy on the joints. According to the NASA research, trampolining proved helpful in bolstering bone and muscle mass in astronauts returning from space.

The repeated jumping action stimulates the lymphatic drainage system which detoxifies the body. The rebounding movement also helps increase blood flow and gets the immune cells circulating more efficiently through the body thus improving immunity.

Jumping on the trampoline will leave you feeling light and ‘bouncy’ thanks to the stress busting, anxiety alleviating and depression banishing endorphins that the workout releases. For more focused rebounding workouts consider a trampoline workout video or tutorials available on the internet and on DVD.

So go jump – on a trampoline that is.

– Leila Mahfooz Barry

First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 9, 2013.