The trampoline is a surprisingly modern device that has its origins in the circus. Bouncing apparatus was used in 19th century French circuses and a in the early 1900s circus performers performed acrobatics on a bouncing bed, which was a trampoline covered with bed clothes. However, it was not until 1936 that the first modern trampoline was designed and built by two America gymnasts George Nissen and Larry Griswold.
Now, of course, trampolining is an Olympic sport. In the London 2012 Olympics Canadian Rosie MacLennan won gold and Briton Kat Driscoll captured everyone’s imagination; missing out on the final by a tenth of a mark! At this level it is not uncommon for a skilled athlete to bounce to a height of 10 metres (33 ft) as they perform multiple somersaults and twists. They are also used as cross-trainers for other sports including in diving, skating, gymnastics, and freestyle skiing.
For parents of older children the purchase of a trampoline is also an opportunity to engage them in the basic laws of Physics, including the conversion of potential energy into kinetic and Isaac Newton laws of motion. Trampolines are in essence simple machines; it is well known that they have formed an integral part of the American and Soviet space programmes to prepare astronauts for the experience of zero gravity.
However, one of the main reasons people buy a trampoline is the fantastic health benefits it offers. In particular trampolining improves co-ordination including balance, agility, rhythm, and timing; the fine motor skills that are so receptive to development in children and teenagers. Regular trampolining sessions have been seen to improve the spatial awareness of young people, boosting confidence and self-esteem: enhancing performance not just on the sports field but in the classroom too.
In addition to specific gains in terms of co-ordination and agility, like any cardio work-out use of a trampoline has fantastic long-term health benefits. In a recent study conducted by the Colorado State University it was shown that short bursts of exercise have the same health benefits at prolonged exercise routines; improving fitness and burning calories. Likewise, an ongoing study by Professor Jamie Timmons a leading expert on exercise has shown that short-burst exercise of as little as three minutes a week can deliver the same health benefits as hours at the gym by boosting the stamina and fitness of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. This is good news in an age when we are increasingly concerned about childhood obesity. A trampoline can ensure that your children are getting short bursts of exercise without as much as a thought about their exertion. And all this is without mentioning the benefits of outdoor play that we at Wicken Toys are so found of telling you about!
So, even without considering the obvious health benefits of trampolining for youngsters, what better way to get them away from sedentary activities like watching TV and playing video games and playing outside in the spring sunshine than a trampoline? We have a large choice of trampolines in stock here at Wicken Toys, ranging from little ones with support bars for infants such as the TP Junior, through to TP SurroundSafe tramps, which are enclosed and very safe, for older and perhaps more boisterous children.