Friday, November 2, 2012

New Toy in the House: Trampoline

"N.A.S.A. has been using the trampoline to train their astronauts for years. A N.A.S.A study for Applied Physiology called trampoline jumping a “miracle exercise” and NASA says that"...for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running, “ The study found that Jumping on a trampoline was 68% more efficient than running on a treadmill. A 150- pound individual spending one-hour on a trampoline will burn more calories than the same person jogging for an hour. N.A.S.A. also found rebounding to be helpful in rebuilding the bone mass and muscle mass that astronauts lose in the weightlessness of space. When astronauts were subjected to weightlessness for weeks at a time, they lost both muscle strength and bone density. Without gravitational pull, muscles and bones wither. They quickly become weaker and less dense. Conversely, bone density and muscle strength increase significantly when subjected to increased gravitational pull. Because the body interprets the acceleration and deceleration of bouncing on a trampoline as an increase in gravitational pull, muscles and bones gain strength, far beyond what is considered normal.Trampoline exercise strengthens each and every muscle, organ, tissue and cell in your entire body including cells in the liver, kidneys, bladder, heart and lungs. It can even make adults look more youthful as externally the skin will tighten and lines and wrinkles will diminish; almost like a natural face lift. At the peak of each bounce on the trampoline every cell in your body is suspended for a split second in a state of weightlessness. At the bottom of the bounce, every cell in your body is receiving as much as two to four times normal gravitational force. That is the same as weighing two to four times your normal weight.  Thus when jumping on a trampoline you bounce about 90 to 120 times per minute or over (90 bounces x 60 minutes = 5400) that is as many as 5000 bounces, jumps, impulses, stresses, muscle contractions, or resistances per hour! Every time you land on a trampoline your body or cells want to collapse upon impact. In order not to collapse upon impact your cells must resist. This resistance is what builds cellular strength and causes each and every cell in your entire body to get stronger i.e. your face, legs, arms, calfs, waist, back, shoulders, chest, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, bladder and all internal organs are getting stronger and healthier together.  You're exercising your entire body as a complete unit and not only isolated muscle groups."Source:
So, while I cannot imagine Joe getting on it to jump (first, he is over 175 pound weight limit and second, if he isn't holding a basketball, he won't jump), I can do this...and it will be great for my son!  But, before you embark on this, check your insurance policy carefully!

To stay safe, follow these trampoline equipment tips:
  • Purchase a round trampoline (rectangular trampolines encourage higher bouncing)
  • Enclose trampolines with safety nets
  • Completely cover its springs, hooks and frame
  • Carefully review the safety materials included
Be aware of these trampoline injury statistics:
  • Most trips to the hospital emergency rooms result from jumpers colliding, falling off the trampoline or stunts.
  • The most common areas of injury are: 
    • Legs and feet: 40%
    • Arms or hands: 29%
    • Head, face or neck: 20%
    • Shoulder or trunk: 10%
  • About 246,875 medically-treated trampoline injuries occur annually in the United States. 75% of these injuries occur in children 14 or younger.
  • Children under 6 were treated for about 15% of trampoline injuries in hospital emergency rooms.
  • Improper use of a trampoline can result in death. Most victims are teenagers, ages 12 to 19. Falls from the trampoline were the most frequent cause of death, followed by landing on the neck while attempting somersaults.

Insurance considerations...trampolines are typically handed in one of three ways:
  • No Exclusions - This means that an insurance company doesn't place any restrictions on trampoline ownership or usage in accordance with your homeowner's insurance policy.
  • Coverage with Safety Precautions  - An insurance company may include coverage if you have pads to cover the trampoline springs, a net enclosure for the sides, and/or a fenced-in yard with a gate and working lock.
  • A Trampoline Exclusion - Some homeowner's insurance policies may not cover trampolines at all. That means if you, your kids, or the neighborhood kids get injured on the trampoline, the insurance company is not liable for those trampoline-related claims. It may also mean that adding a trampoline results in non-renewal of your current policy.
So, read up and determine if this is right for you.  I do believe you can avoid injury issues if you have the proper placement...fenced area, restricted access, supervise children.  But avoid having one if you have a daring teenager, by all means!

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