I wanted to start off with something that almost everyone can do, almost everyone will find fun, and will take almost everyone to endorphin central … so it had to be trampolining!
Trampolining is the best fun ever. No seriously. It really is. I heard about London’s brand spanking new trampoline park in about October 2015 when my friend Rosh went on a work trip (like, actually) and reported back fully on how much fun he’d had. I filed it in my MUST DO list and forgot about it until I was quiet at work in January and saw it as the perfect opportunity to take a half day, call up my friend Susan (who is always up for random fun) to see if she fancied it, and get myself out there.
what it’s like
That first day was a revelation … we pretty much had the place to ourselves so we could go NUTS. And nuts we went! As well as the standard trampolines like you might expect, they had long track trampolines with an airpit at the end, a dodgeball area with connecting trampolines and soft foam balls, a couple of free running areas, and a foam pit with slack lines, a trapeze, rings, an agility ladder and balance boards. What more could you possibly ask for?! Although altogether the park has 150 trampolines and accepts up to 130 jumpers per session, that first day there was only Susan, me, and six college kids in the entire place so we had a blast trying out every single part of the park. The only real drawback was that an hour was definitely not long enough for us; we were dying to carry on at the end. We did find out however that there are classes, and we agreed before we were even out the door that we’d be back the following week for a class.
Since raving about the park to my friends, all of them have wanted to come! I’ve done free jumping sessions with four different sets of friends plus three classes and I can’t get enough. Every single person has wanted to go back – which is brilliant for me because I get to keep going over and over!
As well as the fact that it’s FUN FACTOR 100+, there are some serious benefits from trampolining which have been discovered and reported. As Springfit reports, the benefits include the following:
- Stimulates your metabolism
- Increases oxygen capacity.
- Improves your sense of balance.
- Increases oxygen circulation to tissues.
- Improves the circulation of the lymph through the lymph glands
- Strengthens the heart (Cardiovascular health)
- Increases energy and sense of vitality
- Firms and tones the muscles
- Low impact
- Strengthens bones
- Improves mental health
- Improves coordination
- Improves motor skills
- SUPER FUN!
In addition it burns soon many calories (for me, monitored using my Garmin, it burns more calories per hour than a hard run), makes you feel like you’re ten years old without any worries in the world, gets endorphins flowing and lets you forget about the world for a while.
who’s it for?
Literally anyone. Each park will have its own age rules but at my local park I’ve seen kids as little as three or four years old, right up to people in their sixties and seventies. It’s low impact so people with joints a little too sketchy to run can get involved, and it’s so adaptable that it doesn’t matter how fit or unfit you are, you’ll be able to do it at a pace which you’ll love. Classes are similar – they might be broken down into age category but there will almost definitely be a class that’s right for you.
good to know
Trampolining is pretty straightforward but here are a few tips for your first time:
- wear long leggings rather than shorts if you can – it’s not a must but if you’ve got sensitive skin some trampolines can be a little scratchy
- take your jewellery out if you can – no point in catching it!
- if you have long hair it’s better to tie it up or it bounces all over the place
- take your time to get used to it when you first get onto the trampoline – everyone feels best bouncing at different heights so check out how high you want to go and then go for it!
- take water with you and take it in if you’re allowed at your park (or look for fountains inside the park) – it can be thirsty work
- don’t eat right before you bounce … cramps are not an additional bonus
- you might be required to wear special socks for grip and hygiene – if you are, your park should sell them for close to cost price
That’s it! That’s all you really need to know. Enjoy!
check it out!
To see what it’s like in person check out my YouTube video here for a compilation of a bunch of clips from my friends’ and my trips to Oxygen Freejumping in Acton, London – and then head on out to your nearest trampoline park to get a taste of the addiction for yourself!