Get Fit with Athletics
7 Olympic Sports to Jumpstart Your Fitness
What you may consider child’s play, NASA researchers call “the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man." In fact they found bouncing on a trampoline to be 68 percent more effective than running on a treadmill. (Search: Trampoline Safety Rules) The magic may lie in the trampoline bed. Although it’s forgiving, when you use major muscle groups—like your core, back, quads, and glutes—to push off of it, you’re working against three to six times your body weight, says Susan Jacobson, program director for USA Gymnastics Trampoline and Tumbling. Done repeatedly, bouncing up and down like Tigger causes your heart rate to surge, while developing motor control and body awareness.
Get started: Trampoline gyms, such as Sky High Sports, have started popping up around the country. If there isn’t one near you, your local gym may offer an Urban Rebounding class, which uses mini-trampolines. The bed is different than the ones used in the Olympics (you won’t be able to jump as high), but you’ll get many of the same benefits, says Jacobson. Many gymnastics centers also offer adult fitness classes programs. Search for one by zip code here.