Bored with exercise? Trampolines will take your routine to new heights

When you want to get or stay healthy, it's best to choose an exercise you enjoy. If you enjoy exercising, you'll do it more often. One fun way to get in some exercise is with a trampoline.

Exercise trampoline

Exercising on a trampoline is also called rebounding. A NASA study found that trampoline exercise is more effective than using a treadmill, jogging or running; they said you can bounce on a trampoline for 10 minutes or run for more than 30 for the same results. So it's no wonder trampolines are popular.

Price is a factor, too. They're less expensive than a lot of other exercise equipment. A small trampoline you can use indoors will cost $35 or more. Using a trampoline when exercising helps your joints and improves your circulation. You'll get a great cardio vascular workout. The aerobic activity becomes low impact, though, thanks to the small exercise trampoline absorbing most of the impact. Jumping on a mini trampoline exercises your entire body. You'll notice a difference in your back, stomach and legs as you tone them. As you use your muscles to help you stay balanced, you'll give your core a great workout.

Keep it balanced

If you have problems with balance or fall easily, purchase a mini trampoline with a handrail or a stabilizing bar. Use caution to keep your feet under you when you first start using a trampoline, but as you use one, your balance will improve. As we age, we have to work to keep our balance because our balance relies on our eyes, sense of touch and inner ear system. All of those systems lose some of their functionality as we age. 

How to get started

Follow the manufacturer's safety guidelines when setting up and using the trampoline. After doing some stretches, step on the trampoline. Start slowly; just lightly bounce up and down. Don't jump high until you have learned how to maintain your balance. Once you feel warmed up and comfortable, jump high enough your feet leave the trampoline surface. Decide how many repetitions you want to do before moving on to the next exercise: jogging. As you lift one leg off at a time while you jog, remember to swing your arms as you would if you were running around the track. If you don't feel comfortable jogging, just try walking until you get used to the trampoline.

Once you have walking and jogging down, try to add some extra difficulty to your routine. Try lifting one leg up to your waist at a time. You can also do twists; keep your feet together and twist when you're up in the air. Or, try some jumping jacks. Most trampolines come with illustrations of some simple exercises you can do, and you can also find more on the Internet. Remember to take time to cool down after you exercise.

When you use them to exercise, you will not only get a great workout and improve your balance, but you'll also have fun.

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