Shannon Fable by Shannon Fable

At some point in your life, chances are you were lucky enough to experience jumping on a trampoline for hours at a time in the great outdoors. Surely you remember an amazing afternoon with friends, zero cares, giggles that could be heard for miles and a heart pounding for all the right reasons. Well, here’s some good news: Trampolines are back and a great form of exercise, according to a recent research study by ACE.

Mini-trampolines have been part of exercise routines off and on for decades. The first one was created by Ed Russell way back in 1938, but the bouncing machine was not patented until 1975 by Victor Green. NASA published a study in 1980 revealing the great benefits of trampoline exercise, which gave Albert Carter, who coined the term “rebounding”, enough evidence to get the movement going. Rebounders became a hot commodity in the early ‘80s.

After a decline toward the end up the decade, rebounders resurged in the early 2000s, featuring better manufacturing. Fitness enthusiasts took notice. Urban Rebounding™ bounced onto the scene as a signature format at Crunch gyms in New York, which really helped increase its visibility. More recently, JumpSport® reinvigorated the category, producing new and updated workout DVDs and training fitness instructors all over the world.

Are you intrigued? Here are three reasons you should “jump” on the bandwagon:

It’s Effective

If calorie burn is important to you, the ACE study revealed that the average female burned 9.4 calories per minute, while men averaged 12.4 calories per minute. To put this number into perspective, the calories are nearly equivalent to running a 6-mph pace on flat ground or biking at 14 mph. Rebounding provides sufficient intensity to improve your cardiorespiratory fitness over time, the research found, and may also improve your balance and spatial awareness.

It’s Easy (well …)

One of the most interesting findings of the ACE study was related to the perceived exertion during the workout. The participants were exercising at a moderate-to-vigorous intensity, but they didn’t feel like they were working out that hard. While that might not seem like a big deal, it is one of the most compelling reasons to add rebounding to your workout. If your mind perceives a workout as “easier” than the actual workload, you might exercise longer, do it more often or even work at an intensity you might otherwise avoid with other modalities. And this is a proven recipe for success.

It’s Fun

Finally, it’s fun. One of the main reasons people avoid exercise or do not stick to an exercise routine is because it feels more like a chore. If you can find activities you enjoy, you’ll receive an immediate reward and look forward to the experience. Exercise should be fun and bring you joy; it shouldn’t serve as a punishment for what you ate, or something you force yourself to do because it will make you look better. Your body was meant to move, and finding ways to do this is essential.

Having taught rebounding since the early 2000s, I have witnessed, in myself and my students, the “happy bubble effect.” Now, I’m no scientist and I have absolutely no proof, but after teaching thousands of rebounding classes, I notice even the grumpiest of faces light up with smiles after a few minutes on the rebounder, uncontrollable laughter from all ages spontaneously erupting, guards being shed in the most competitive of environments, and the sheer joy of moving the human body bubbling to the surface. And that is definitely something I want to see more often, so let’s bounce!