We all know that Brisbane Kids love trampolines. They love the thrill of rebounding off the mat high into the air and we love that they’re getting great exercise and expending some of their seemingly endless energy!
Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about trampolining …
1. Trampolining is the most efficient, effective form of exercise
According to NASA, (and they know their stuff!), rebound exercise such as trampolining is ‘the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man’. In fact, their study found that 10 minutes of trampolining was a better workout than 30 minutes of running. We all want our kids to stay active and healthy and if NASA says this is the best way, who are we to argue?!
2. Jumping on a trampoline can help enhance motor skills
Bouncing on a trampoline is a great way of enhancing children’s motor skills, which is awesome for all children but can be especially beneficial to children with special needs. It is great for muscle development, strengthening bones and reinforcing joints.
3. Trampolining is one of the best ways of improving co-ordination and balance
Bouncing on a trampoline creates a constantly shifting centre of gravity, which kids must quickly respond to by adjusting their positions and bilateral movements. This is known to drastically improve their co-ordination and balance, which will benefit them in all other physical activity in life.
4. Jumping is great for stress relief
On the simplest level, jumping up and down on a trampoline is fun and a great way to wind down after a difficult day in school (or in the office!). On a deeper level, the concentration, fun and repetition of rebounding on a trampoline is great for advancing sensory skills. For kids with sensory cravings right through to those who are sensory defensive, trampolining is a very effective means of helping them to escape from the stress that can bring and make them feel calm.
5. Trampolining can improve kids’ behaviour
We know it sounds too good to be true, but trampolining can really have a positive effect on kids’ behavioural issues. It is a great way for kids to expend their energy, which might otherwise result in more destructive behaviour. This exercise is also great for increasing the circulation of oxygen to their brain, which can help to make them feel more alert and refreshed, and improve their concentration.
Special Needs: According to Brisbane Paediatric Occupational Therapist Nicole Grant “Kids with vestibular dysfunction (one area of sensory function that may be affected by Sensory Processing Disorder) often seek a lot of movement. Bouncing on a trampoline stimulates vestibular and proprioceptive senses – those senses that help with postural control and balance.
Bouncing on a trampoline can be calming to a child with SPD. Additional benefits can include improved balance and coordination”. On a practical level it might prove helpful to see if jumping on the trampoline prior to homework sessions assists with longer attention span and great concentration.
6. Trampolines can make kids more engaged in learning
Through calming kids down and improving their concentration, trampolining can clearly improve kids’ engagement in learning. The trampolines themselves can also be an effective and engaging tool for learning. Counting, jumping onto coloured shapes and following directions (e.g. Simon Says) are just some of the ways that kids can learn through play.
7. Trampolining can influence academic success
People are often surprised to hear that a child’s ability to learn can be hugely influenced by their ability to control their body and movements. Trampolining is a great way of enhancing these skills and giving children a better chance at academic success.
8. Trampolining builds confidence
For kids who are wary of new things and physical activities, trampolines are a great way of building their confidence. There is no right or wrong way to move on a trampoline so they experience instant success, as well as the thrilling feeling of bouncing. This can increase their courage and self-confidence, which will carry through into other activities and areas of their life.
9. Trampolining strengthens the immune system
The act of rebounding on a trampoline stimulates internal organs and promotes lymphatic circulation, pushing toxins out of cells and allowing nutrients in. This is great for detoxifying your body and strengthening your immune system.
10. Trampolining makes you happy!
Experiencing the weightlessness of trampolining can be exhilarating and uplifting. On top of that, the increased oxygen circulation stimulates the release of endorphins that are naturally mood-enhancing. So trampolining can literally make you happy!
Warning: All safety precautions must be followed to ensure that trampolining is safe and fun for everyone. Only use a trampoline that meets all safety standards and supervise children at all times, Younger children require trampolines that are suitable for their size and weight. You may also wish to seek approval from a health care professional.