Ben­e­fits of bounc­ing

Tram­po­lines of­fer fit­ness, men­tal and even ed­u­ca­tional ad­van­tages

The Southern Berks News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Michilea Pat­ter­son mpat­ter­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @MichileaP on Twit­ter

Tram­po­lines are de­signed for bounc­ing and of­ten con­sid­ered a child’s toy but peo­ple of all ages from kids to adults are see­ing that the springy de­vice can be used for more than a fun time.

Lacey Golden is a karate in­struc­tor at Val­ley Forge Martial Arts in Audubon. As a martial arts in­struc­tor, her body gets thrown into jar­ring po­si­tions which has con­trib­uted to back pain. Golden said her back would “give out” sev­eral times a month and that the pain would “crip­ple” her.

“It gives out so badly that it feels like some­body’s squeez­ing my lungs very sud­denly and it just takes my breath away,” she said.

Golden’s lower back pain, is­sues with her joints and breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties lead her to ex­plore some­thing called re­bound ther­apy which uses per­sonal, mini-tram­po­lines called re­bound­ers. The phys­i­cal ther­apy uses tram­po­lines for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and a va­ri­ety of other spe­cial needs.

Tram­po­lines along with rock climb­ing walls and ob­sta­cle cour­ses are used as part of the phys­i­cal ther­apy pro­grams at EBS (Ed­u­ca­tional Based Ser­vices) Chil­dren’s Ther­apy in West Ch­ester. The ther­apy pro­grams ser­vice chil­dren with spe­cial needs, those with learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and kids with anx­i­ety, said Stephanie Moyer, the clinic’s out­reach and com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor.

Moyer said tram­po­lines are used in chil­dren’s phys­i­cal ther­apy to im­prove car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness, strength build­ing and co­or­di­na­tion. She said the bounc­ing de­vices also ben­e­fit the senses by help­ing chil­dren to calm down and make the body more alert. Chil­dren also learn to in­ter­act well with oth­ers through tram­po­lines, Moyer said.

“For a child with autism, jump­ing on a tram­po­line is a great way for him or her to open up so­cially,” she said.

In­di­vid­ual goals and ex­pe­ri­ences vary.

About three months ago, Golden pur­chased a tram­po­line with the hope that re­bound ther­apy would lessen the back pain she was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. She said the low-im­pact workout not only helped with the back pain but also helped her to re­lax. The first month Golden started re­bound ther­apy, her back didn’t give out once. Golden said she doesn’t fol­low any par­tic­u­lar ex­er­cise video for re­bound­ing but just does her own set of ac­tiv­i­ties on the mini-tram­po­line.

“That’s the beau­ti­ful thing about re­bound­ing. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. You just get on there and bounce,” she said.

Golden said she has ex­pe­ri­enced first-hand some of the ben­e­fits of jump­ing on a tram­po­line and learned about many oth­ers on­line. Through re­search, she found out that the ac­tiv­ity in­creases en­durance on a cel­lu­lar level.

“You’re ba­si­cally ex­er­cis­ing ev­ery cell in your body at the same time right up to your eye­balls,” she said.

Also as some­one with breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, Golden said re­bound­ing helps to oxy­genate the en­tire body which in­creases the ca­pac­ity of res­pi­ra­tion. She said a Na­tional Aero­nau­tics and Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NASA) study even found that jump­ing on a tram­po­line is twice as ef­fec­tive as run­ning but with lower stress on the body.

“They ac­tu­ally use it to re­ha­bil­i­tate their as­tro­nauts when they come back to grav­ity to help re­build bone mass,” Golden said.

Amy Fox, former fit­ness in­struc­tor of the H30 Bounce class at We­ston Fit­ness in Philadel­phia, also used the NASA study to ex­plain some of the ben­e­fits of bounc­ing. The study done by NASA sci­en­tists was pub­lished in 1980 in the Jour­nal of Ap­plied Phys­i­ol­ogy. A sum­mary of the study can be found at www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pubmed/7429911.

“The in­creased G-force in re­bound­ing means you get more ben­e­fit with less oxy­gen used and less ex­er­tion on the heart,” Fox said.

She said the study also found that jump­ing on a tram­po­line doesn’t put ad­di­tional stress on the an­kles and joints.

“This shows that re­bound­ing can ex­er­cise the en­tire body with­out ex­cess pres­sure to the feet and legs,” Fox said.

Peo­ple in the H30 Bounce class use in­di­vid­ual minitram­po­lines, or re­bound­ers, dur­ing the workout. Peo­ple are grouped into pairs of two then switch off for ex­er­cise in­ter­vals.

“Not only is this setup unique but it forces par­tic­i­pants to also de­velop greater men­tal aware­ness, fo­cus and at­ten­tion. It also serves to boost com­mu­nity,” Fox said.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Sandy We­ston, the founder of We­ston Fit­ness, said she cre­ated the H30 classes years ago and that the “H” stands for head.

“The whole theme is train your head and the body will fol­low,” she said.

We­ston said her fam­ily has ex­pe­ri­enced the phys­i­cal and men­tal ben­e­fits of mini-tram­po­lines.

“I al­ways had one or two in my house for my son. He used to jump on it con­stantly,” she said.

We­ston said when her now 13-year-old son was younger, he had a prob­lem fo­cus­ing while learn­ing be­cause he pro­cessed in­for­ma­tion dif­fer­ently than oth­ers. He par­tic­i­pated in a stu­dent-led pro­gram that they called “jump study.” While her son jumped on a re­bounder tram­po­line, he would prac­tice his math skills, spell­ing words and do other ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. The jump­ing helped re­lax his sys­tem so he could fo­cus bet­ter,

Rachel Rud­man, a New York-based pe­di­atric oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist, said jump­ing up and down re­leases the neu­ro­chem­i­cals his­tamine and sero­tonin which help im­prove fo­cus and cre­ate a “feel good” ef­fect.

“Th­ese chem­i­cals that are re­leased are also known to break down adrenaline which is com­monly found with anx­i­ety. Over­all the im­pact of jump­ing for as lit­tle as three min­utes will give a 2 to 4 hour calm­ing or­ga­nized ef­fect,” she said.

Rud­man has train­ing in sen­sory in­te­gra­tion and the de­vel­op­ment of chil­dren through play. Sen­sory in­te­gra­tion is the process of re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion through the senses, ac­cord­ing to the Path­ways.org web­site which uses a roundtable of med­i­cal spe­cial­ists to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­ri­als. The web­site stated that the vestibu­lar sense is the “move­ment and bal­ance sense.”

“As an oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist, I use tram­po­lines a lot. I have kids jump to im­prove body aware­ness … I also use the tram­po­line to work on pac­ing and rhythm,” Rud­man said.

Rud­man also ex­plained that be­fore chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence the neu­ro­log­i­cal ben­e­fits of jump­ing, they will first ex­pe­ri­ence the phys­i­cal ones.

“The main ben­e­fits for kids jump­ing on tram­po­lines are en­durance, core strength, stamina and rhythm. The added perk is the fo­cus ef­fect which comes af­ter the jump­ing,” she said.

Eric Kline is the owner and head coach at Zero Grav­ity in Wilkes-Barre.

“The gym is based around com­pet­i­tive tram­po­line and tum­bling,” Kline said, ad­ding that the team he coaches com­petes with USA Gym­nas­tics on a na­tional level.

The gym works a lot with cheer­lead­ers and dancers but there’s also tram­po­line and tum­bling recre­ational classes for ages 4 to

“That’s the beau­ti­ful thing about re­bound­ing. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. You just get on there and bounce.”

18 where they learn how to do ba­sic jumps, drops and twists.

“It’s very good for spa­tial aware­ness at any rate. It’s good to carry over to other sports,” Kline said. “From an ex­er­cise stand­point, it’s very good for car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness.”

We­ston said the many ben­e­fits of bounc­ing in­clude im­prov­ing bone mass which makes the ac­tiv­ity great for se­niors. She en­cour­ages ev­ery se­nior to give it a try. We­ston said the tram­po­lines may seem in­tim­i­dat­ing to some but the small re­bound­ers aren’t that high off the ground. There are also hand rails that can be at­tached for ad­di­tional sup­port, she said.

A 2014 study pub­lished in the Archives of Geron­tol­ogy and Ge­ri­atrics found that mini tram­po­lines, along with aquatic gym­nas­tics and floor gym­nas­tics, helped to greatly im­prove the bal­ance of older women af­ter they trained for 12 weeks, ac­cord­ing to the web­site www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pubmed/25239512.

We­ston ben­e­fited her­self from re­bound ther­apy when she broke her foot a cou­ple years ago. She used a tram­po­line

MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO — WE­STON FIT­NESS OF PHILADEL­PHIA

as part of her re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. She said the ac­tiv­ity helped strengthen her foot and give it flex­i­bil­ity af­ter be­ing im­mo­bile.

We­ston said bounc­ing on a tram­po­line has so many ben­e­fits for kids and adults. She said the ac­tiv­ity is great for fit­ness, re­hab and the mind. She said there are tram­po­line parks that have big open spa­ces to pro­mote jump­ing through all kinds of ac­tiv­i­ties. Some of th­ese parks even have spe­cific fit­ness classes. She said ei­ther way, jump­ing on a tram­po­line makes peo­ple feel like a kid again and have fun.

“It’s very free­ing but very re­lax­ing,” We­ston said.

 There are sev­eral tram­po­line parks of­fered through­out the re­gion For ex­am­ple:

• The Get Air Tram­po­line Park in King of Prussia has ba­sic jump­ing, dodge­ball, a foam pit, slam ball on wall-to-wall tram­po­lines and more. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the web­site at getairkop.com or call 267419-9219.

• Ur­ban Air Tram­po­line & Ad­ven­ture Park in Down­ing­town has open jump ar­eas, jump­ing for fit­ness and monthly spe­cial needs jumps. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the web­site at www.ur­banair­tram­po­linepark.com/tram­po­linepark-lo­ca­tions/down­ing­town-pa-tram­po­line-park or call 484-674-6871.

• The Xtreme Air In­door Tram­po­line Cen­ter in Wy­omiss­ing has tram­po­line jump­ing, foam pit div­ing, dodge­ball, bas­ket­ball and a ninja course. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the web­site at catchx­tremeair.com or call 610-375-2700 ext. 218.

• The Re­bounder Z In­door Tram­po­line Arena in Lans­dale has an open jump area, dodge­ball, bas­ket­ball and a foam pit. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the web­site at www.re­bound­erz.com/lo­ca­tion/lans­dale or call 267263-4981.

• There are Sky Zone Tram­po­line Park lo­ca­tions in Oaks, Glen Mills and Beth­le­hem. The park of­fers freestyle jump, bas­ket­ball, dodge­ball, a foam zone and a SkyFit class. For more in­for­ma­tion and a list of lo­ca­tions, visit the web­site at www.sky­zone.com.

For more healthy liv­ing sto­ries in­clud­ing recipes, visit the Fit for Life web­site at pottsmer­c­fit4life.com.

Grady Scholla, 6, jumps on a tram­po­line while play­ing dodge­ball with friends at the Get Air Tram­po­line Park in King of Prussia on Wed­nes­day.

Chil­dren play dodge­ball while jump­ing on a tram­po­line at the Get Air Tram­po­line Park in King of Prussia on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

We­ston Fit­ness in Philadel­phia has an H30 Bounce class were par­tic­i­pants use in­di­vid­ual mini-tram­po­lines, also known as re­bound­ers.

Peo­ple jump at the In­door Tram­po­line Arena Re­bounder Z in Lans­dale.

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