Is Trampoline Exercise Good for Seniors?
Trampoline exercise has grown in popularity over time for people of all ages. The aerobic routines bring a range of benefits, and are super easy to practice for most people, but should seniors get involved?
Trampoline exercise is good for seniors because it helps keep them active without the risk of joint and muscle strain—which is a common downside to seniors practicing conventional workout routines. Trampoline exercises are low impact and can increase endurance and improve bone health.
The rest of the article will take a look at all you need to know about trampoline exercises for seniors, including what is known as the ‘health bounce’ where you can get some specific health benefits without your feet leaving the surface.
The trampoline we personally use is a mini trampoline where one person bounces at a time. Larger trampolines are popular with kids and younger adults. We will also look at some trampoline buying tips.
What Is Trampoline Exercise?
Also known as rebounding, trampoline exercise refers to any selection of aerobic exercises performed while jumping on a mini-trampoline. The jumps can be fast or slow, depending on the goal of the routine. Trampoline exercises are becoming popular because they are mild on the joints and don’t require a lot of exertion. Still, they allow proper workout for the cardiovascular system.
Other Benefits of Trampoline Exercise for Seniors
Below are some of the reasons why trampoline exercise is recommended for seniors today:
It’s an Enjoyable Form of Exercise
One of the reasons why many seniors avoid exercise even when they are fully aware of the benefits is that most of the routines are drab and stressful.
Trampoline exercise, on the other hand, is a cheap and enjoyable way to work out, which means there’s very little chance of getting discouraged or dreading your exercise schedule. With such an easy workout option, you won’t have to worry about the stress of regular exercise.
It Improves Coordination and Balance
As a senior, coordination, agility, and balance are important for your everyday living to prevent accidents. Many studies have shown how trampoline exercise can play a pivotal role in improving balance in the elderly.
One such study showed that regular trampoline exercise could help improve general balance in seniors as it improved their ability to recover and maintain balance when they fall forwards. Since falls account for 800,000 hospital visits per year, a system of exercise that can help prevent new cases, especially in the elderly, is one you should embrace.
You can add a balance bar to your mine trampoline for safety purposes if you have issues with balance, or even if you prefer to have that extra assistance.
It’s an Affordable Solution for Cardio Exercise
As an older adult who can’t make time to consistently visit the gym and don’t have space and money to set up a gym at home, buying a mini-trampoline for exercise is the perfect way to solve the problem.
They can cost as little as $100, and they come constructed in a way that they don’t need to take up space when not in use. With the trampoline, you no longer have to postpone your cardio workout due to inclement weather. You can draw out the trampoline in your living room, turn on your TV and start exercising immediately.
Unlike other inexpensive cardio solutions such as skipping, trampoline exercise won’t leave you out of breath.
It Can Help in Blood Sugar Management
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, with an extra 84 million adults aged 20 and above dealing with prediabetes. This shows that many Americans need help with controlling blood sugar in general.
Interestingly, a study carried out in 2015 showed that trampoline exercise performed for half-an-hour three times a week led to a positive change in the body mass index (BMI) and the markers for blood sugar in people living with type-2 diabetes.
However, more important is the fact that the advantages of trampoline exercise aren’t only visible in people living with pre or full diabetes. Another study in 2016, which focused on people with normal levels of blood glucose, found that engaging in high-intensity exercise on the trampoline for 50 minutes reduced blood glucose in the course of the exercise as well as during the individual’s resting stage.
These studies show that trampoline exercise may be an efficient and fun method to control glucose levels in the blood. You should consider trampoline exercise when you need a break from going to the gym or when the weather doesn’t support taking a walk outside—if you are a senior with diabetes or prediabetes, already undergoing treatment.
It Can Improve Bone Health
When you’re looking to ensure better bone density, the first suggestions you’ll get are weight-bearing and strength-training exercises. Trampoline exercise, however, can also be effective in this regard.
A recent study showed that athletes who exercise on trampolines regularly had higher bone density around the hip, spine, and in the bones of the legs than others who didn’t engage in trampoline exercise. They also had improved bone and muscle strength in the legs.
Granted, the subjects of the above study were all young athletes, but it shows that trampoline exercise can have a positive impact on bone density, especially when it is done regularly.
It Can Lift Your Mood
Trampoline exercises are fun. The rush of happiness hormones like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin released during the exercise can improve the elderly’s mood. When you’re in a happier mood, there’s a lower chance of defaulting to unhealthy behaviors encouraged by stress and frustration, such as binge eating and staying up too long into the night.
It Encourages Weight Loss
Regular exercise backed with a proper diet plan can go a long way in changing your body makeup and also encourage weight loss. With trampoline exercise being one of the easiest you can go with, it’s important to note that it can help you lose seven calories per minute. This is according to a study that classified the exercise as vigorous activity.
With that calculation, it means you can burn up to 420 calories if you can spend an hour on the trampoline. The exact numbers will vary from one person to another due to weight, sex, body size, and age. Still, it’s great to know that you can also count on trampoline exercise to help keep your weight down as a senior.
Important Points to Keep in Mind
While trampoline exercise holds numerous benefits, it’s still not enough to just grab the nearest setup and get on it as an older person.
There are a few things you should be wary of:
- Get permission from your doctor. Do you have any existing health challenges? You should discuss with your doctor about how such an exercise can affect you before getting started on the trampoline exercise. Some routines may still be too difficult under certain health constraints. So, to avoid exacerbating anything, you should seek professional advice.
- Know when to stop. Even when you don’t have any major health issues that can affect your trampoline routines, your body can get tired earlier than you probably planned. Don’t try to squeeze in five more minutes when you’re feeling dizzy or feeling discomfort in any part of your body.
- Buy the right trampoline. The most important feature you should pay attention to is the weight limit for the trampoline. Getting the one meant for your weight class will help you avoid accidents. Also, you should carefully consider between a bungee trampoline and a spring-based option. The latter is less expensive but noisy, while the former is quieter, a bit costlier, but easier on your joints.
We have a separate article that talks more about the Health Bounce, something we were introduced to quite a few years ago and what prompted us to get a mini trampoline for our home. Always looking for healthy tips to live younger longer, what caught our attention is how bouncing lightly can be beneficial to your cells, tissues and body systems such as the lymphatic system.
The Health Bounce is essentially gentle bounces where your feet don’t leave the trampoline. You still want to pay attention to your form as you bounce: bend your knees (or you will feel the strain in your legs as you bounce), have your shoulders back and your back straight. It feels really good to spend anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour or so every day doing the Health Bounce. You can read more in our sister article: Rebounding.
Trampoline exercise is good for seniors due to the myriad of physical and mental benefits associated with it. If you’re looking for an effective and low-cost way to stay in shape, it is an option that should be high on your list.
However, don’t forget to pay attention to the warnings we’ve covered above. If in doubt at any point, talk to your doctor.
If you are interested in learning more about the brand of soft bounce trampoline we have been using the past few years, you can check it out where we purchased it (Amazon): Needak Rebounder.
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