Trampoline and the Brain Body Connection
By Jacinda David, Owner, Just Bounce Trampoline
I first started trampoline when I was 12 years old. My gymnastics coach gave me the phone number of a trampoline club and suggested I go there being I was better at trampoline. Perhaps that was her gentle way of kicking me off the team? That I will never know!
I tried out for their competitive team right away. I didn’t make it in my first year. So I did recreational classes twice a week for my grade 7 year and then tried out for the Provincial Team again at the end of that season. I made the team and stuck with it all the way to the National level for another 6 years. I also took my coaching certifications as soon as I was old enough and have been coaching ever since! My husband and I opened our own club in 2004 and here we are in 2017 still loving it and sharing it with everyone we can!
The benefits of trampoline on my life were tremendous! I always had a sense of belonging at my trampoline club, I made many friends, I learned life lessons. In addition to all that, I had a sense of purpose, other than going to parties and “hanging out” after school, I had something to do and real goals that I was working on!
It’s a pretty low impact activity. It is softer on your body than pounding on the sidewalk for a run, but still burns tons of calories and improves your cardiovascular fitness. Mrs. Vamplew, my high school gym teacher helped me figure out that I was burning 600 calories an hour while doing trampoline! That’s more than jogging or swimming!
But what else does science now tell us about the Benefits of Trampoline?
The brain-body connection is also very prevalent in research now. Did you know that any exercise stimulates nerve cells to produce chemicals (neurotrophic factors) that act like fertilizer for your brain? These are proteins that stimulate new brain cell growth and encourage the brain cells to connect with other neutrons. Even better is that in bouncing on a trampoline, the “against gravity” up and down motion circulates oxygen to all the tissues, this creates stronger nerve pathways between the left and right brain. Plus, while bouncing, the lymphatic ducts expand and lymph flow has the ability to increase as much as fourteen times normal. This process helps create a stronger immune system and detoxifies your body.
Jumping on the trampoline with your eyes focused on a fixed point helps improve visual coordination. This results in better brain coordination for athletic and daily activities. Moving the body up and down with the ability to move in all directions helps stimulate better brain activity. “When you are rebounding, you are moving and exercising every brain cell just as you are exercising each of the other body cells,” according to Alfhild Akselsen, Ph.D., of Austin, Texas. Dr. Akselsen uses rebounding to treat individuals with neurological disorders.
As a Teenager I didn’t know about all of these benefits – I just did trampoline because I loved it! I am glad I got to reap all these benefits and I hope you will be able to as well!