Looking for an easy, low-impact exercise routine? Have you ever considered buying a trampoline? Trampolines are a fun way for the whole family to get a good aerobic workout. Because of the elasticity inherent in its design, a trampoline puts less stress on knees than running or cycling while still supplying ample opportunity for users to get their heart-rate up.
The trampoline has a varied history. The word trampoline comes from the Spanish trampolin, which means “diving board.” Early Inuits used a piece of walrus skin to throw each other into the air, and similar devices were recorded being used in Europe as early as the 15th century. In 1936, George Nessen and Larry Griswold invented the first modern trampoline, having gotten the idea from observing the tension and rebound in the safety nets used by trapeze artists. Today, trampolines vary in size and shape, but most remain much as they did then: A piece of woven fabric (called the bed) stretched taut over a steel frame and secured with coiled springs to give it bounce. Most of them are circular or rectangular, although custom orders can be done in any shape or size.
Trampolines have been used in a wide array of venues, from Olympic gymnastics competitions and flight training schools, to living rooms and gyms across the world. There are even a few trampoline specific sports, such as Slamball and Bossaball, which have recently risen in popularity as well. A trampoline is also sometimes used to cross-train for other, more mainstream sports, such as diving and freestyle skiing.
Most people who use a trampoline in their homes have a mini-trampoline – which are called “trampettes” – which are a convenient way to exercise while still being able to enjoy other leisure activities such as the television, and can easily be stored when not in use without taking up a lot of space. On the other hand, if you find yourself the proud owner of a larger, outdoor trampoline, the harsher months of the year will expose it to elements that can considerably shorten its life. Thankfully, even the larger models can be dismantled fairly quickly, for easy storage, with just a pair of pliers and a screwdriver.
When the trampoline is in use, just like with any other kind of physical activity, it’s always best to keep safety in mind. Make sure your trampoline is clear of obstacles and other high-activity areas, and don’t let kids jump around unsupervised. Also, make sure that the protective pads are always covering both the springs and the hooks in order to prevent the sharp metal from causing more damage if an accident does happen to occur.
If parts become damaged or unusable due to wear and tear, trampolines are easy to repair; there are many places that offer replacements for any damaged parts.
All in all, trampolines can be a great way to stay in shape, and can be fun for both kids and adults of all ages.