24th July 2017.
Wouldn't it be good if you could walk into the back yard with the family and take part in a fun, wholesome activity that also doubles as a vigorous workout? With a trampoline at home, you could do just that. Kids love being able to bounce around, exploring the boundaries of their abilities as they soar into the air. Adults can design intensive workouts based around a trampoline to target many different areas of the body. With the right plans and a good sense of how to use trampolines safely, it can translate into one of the best workout tools for a family investment.
Not everyone knows what to do right after purchasing a trampoline, though. For that matter, not everyone will have the means or the space to buy and store a trampoline. What options does your family have then? The good news is there are still ways you can get in a bouncy workout without breaking the bank. Before you know it, your kids will be begging for more time on the trampoline! So where should you begin? The best place to start is with the basics: you shouldn't climb onto a trampoline before you know some of the basic and best ways to use what it offers.
The basics: getting started with trampolines
Not even sure where you should begin? Take the lead from your kids on this one. When they see a trampoline, what's the first thing they want to do? Run up and start bouncing on it, of course! Adults and
kids alike can acclimate to using a trampoline just by practising simple bounces. Jumping on a trampoline like this will elevate your heart rate, which in turn will prime your body to burn calories. While you won't develop a marathon runner's endurance solely by working out on a trampoline, it will give you the ability to last longer in all forms of exercise.
If using a trampoline at home, adjust your children to the idea of using it for both play and fitness. There are times when it's great fun just to bounce around with a plan. Other times, though, it's helpful to incorporate some actual exercises into the routine. You can teach these simple routines to your kids, so from time to time, you can encourage them to participate in a family exercise
activity. Squats, leg lifts, and even "prances" (raising your knees up to hip level) all contribute to a better body. With a trampoline of reasonable size, it is easy to introduce a lot of variation. That characteristic makes it ideal for planning with the family in mind.
Backyard workouts: training safely at home
Before you go any further, we should take a moment to discuss safety. Many parents feel some well-placed concern about whether trampolines are dangerous for children to use. It's true that without the proper precautions and planning, the misuse of a trampoline can lead to injury. With that in mind, what are some
ways you can plan to use this equipment with as little worry as possible?
First, if you use one at home, position your trampoline in a safe and clear area away from potential hazards. Families, especially those with small children, should strongly consider erecting a safety netting around the trampoline perimeter. Limit young children to one per trampoline, or two if the trampoline is large. However, be aware there is always some risk of collision without careful coordination. Set ground rules and communicate them clearly to the kids. Make it clear that the use of the equipment is a privilege, and using it dangerously could mean the loss of that privilege. No amount of fun is worth the possibility of an injury to your child.
Next, clear away any debris on the trampoline before use, such as leaves, sticks, small pebbles and other items. Once you start bouncing, these can quickly become airborne and painful. Inspect the springs carefully and ensure they are always firmly secured and free from rust. As a rule of thumb, never use the trampoline if you have any doubts about its ability to hold you. Never overload the trampoline. Caution children against tricks beyond their ability; simply jumping around can be just as much fun.
Should you take trampoline fitness classes?
So, what if you don't have space or the funds to install a trampoline at your home? Well, what about taking a trampoline-based fitness class? Many gyms and fitness centres have begun incorporating this interesting equipment into dedicated classes. While perhaps not suitable for the youngest children, adults and
teenagers can see a lot of benefits from enrolling in one of the classes.
The key reason to do so is to take advantage of the availability of instruction. When trying to work out an exercise plan on your own, it can be tough to stay on task all the time. You may not always know the best methods for working out, either. A trampoline instructor will keep you focused on the entire session. You won't be using a big trampoline, either; you'll often have your own personal space in which to work out and practice.
The diversity of the exercises involved are another key reason to consider signing up some family members for a class. As the instructor leads you through each exercise, you will learn new ways to move on the trampoline. You may even decide to get a small fitness trampoline to use at home, teaching others about the exercises you've learned.
The value of trampoline "fun zones" for your kids
There is an increasing number of businesses opening their doors to offer access to a fun-filled space full of
trampolines of varying sizes, shapes, and elasticities. Locations like Jump Nation and Flipout are just two examples, and there's no denying that kids can have a blast in these places. While there is a cost involved, it can be a good way to incorporate trampoline-based exercises into your kids' lives if you don't have space at home.
These supervised spaces must meet rigorous safety standards, so you can trust that your kids will be well looked after while you visit one of these spaces. Also, many of these locations offer fitness classes geared towards children. When you can't bring your child with you to the gym for a class, why not enrol them in one with their peers? Before too long they may even start taking up an interest in other fitness activities. Building a lifelong passion for fitness needs to start at a young age; engage your kids with a visit to one of these locations and see what they think!
Extra considerations and interesting ideas
Want to practice more at home? There are still other exercises you can try out on the trampoline. Need to get in a quick afternoon of cardio before it's time to pick the kids up from school? Climb onto your trampoline and try running in place. Switching between jumps and in-place jogging will give your leg muscles a strenuous workout while getting your blood pumping. If you don't often have the opportunity to run due to painful joints, the lessened resistance a trampoline offers can be ideal.
Be creative when thinking of ways to have fun with your children. Challenge the kids to jump in a pattern on the trampoline, like the five points of a star. Encourage them to come up with games and activities of their own. Playing along with their ideas both stimulates their creativity and their desire to exercise.
"Flip" your workout routine around with trampolines
The first time you climb onto a trampoline, it might feel like an intimidating experience. As soon as you see how much fun your children have playing with it, though, you should let your fears melt away. As you elevate your heart rate and start challenging muscle groups you'd long forgotten about, you'll quickly see what a valuable tool it is for many. Particularly for those who struggle to find time to work out during the week, a quick trip to the trampoline with the kids could be just what you need. Explore your options thoroughly and don't be afraid to experiment. Whether you work out at home or make a semi-regular visit to a "fun zone," you're certain to have a unique exercising experience.