The UK garden economy is blooming as households invest thousands of pounds transforming outdoor space into luxury havens, according to research by Lloyds TSB Insurance. One in ten Britons admit spending money on their gardens, as they can’t afford to move home, whilst a third of homeowners say spending a lot of time outside is the main reason for splashing out.

According to a poll by Esure Home Insurance, one in ten UK households has bought a garden trampoline, which isn’t a surprise when they are the third most wanted gift for children aged 5-13.

Many households seem to have trampolines nowadays — they’re a great choice for healthy exercise but also bring the family together through safe physical activity – fun for all!

Reasons to start bouncing

There are many reasons to start bouncing to improve your lifestyle, from boosting energy levels and strengthening bones to making yourself feel generally happy and positive. The Get Britain Bouncing Campaign is designed to promote the benefits of trampolining and to establish it as a fun and safe activity for all the family.

The benefits of bouncing!

John Beer

There are many benefits to trampolining so we thought who better to give advice about these benefits than the Trampoline Expert himself, John Beer? Mr Beer is a former physical education teacher, national coach and double Olympic coach.

When asked the main benefits of using a trampoline, he replied:

“Trampolining is like swimming, where most of the muscles of the body are used. Unlike swimming where the water supports you, each time you bounce your body is subjected to extra gravity, the higher you bounce the more ‘G’ force is applied, this has the same effect as weight training. Additionally, trampolining has a high aerobic quality — try bouncing for a minute without stopping and you’ll soon see how out of breath you become. There are many other benefits including honing balance and kinaesthetic awareness”.

Activities for children

Trampolines can provides hours of entertainment for children, however when they get tired of simply just bouncing, introducing other activities will ensure they get the most out of the trampoline. These activities can range from simply using the trampoline as a large blackboard, using chalk to draw and create artwork on the spring material, to games like Copy the Leader – where the first person does a jump (star jump for example) then the next player has to copy them. Each turn, the leader adds more and more moves until one person can’t complete the routine.

There are many more games for children to play, it’s all about using your imagination but also playing safe. Many parents choose to sink their trampoline to ground level so not only does it make it safer for children to use but it also makes it fun to jump across and use safely.

Little girl on small trampoline

John Beer went on further to say that the top three most important things for children to remember when trampolining are:

1. never play games of daring,
2. never attempt somersaults without qualified instruction
3. one person at a time until very proficient

Enjoy the experience safely – it’s great fun for all ages and keeps you fit!

Outdoor workouts

The fun and exercise don’t have to stop with children; many adults like to have the ease of exercising at home. Exercising on an indoor or garden trampoline is an easy way to lose weight. It is always a must to start a workout with a warm up and end a session with a cool down – this can be done by simply jogging on the spot or jumping side to side. Your trampoline workout can be as simple as jumping around for at least 30 minutes, or doing classic jumping jacks or seat drops. There is even a trampoline calorie calculator which estimates how many calories you have lost by the amount of time you have been jumping around!

Research has shown that 10 minutes of bouncing on a trampoline provides the same level of results as 30 minutes of running – which shows that rebound exercise is the most efficient. So go on and give it a go!

Other uses for a garden trampoline

If unfit for bouncing on, your old trampoline can still add value to your garden with a bit of repurposing. The bed of the trampoline just happens to be a perfect liner for a flower bed or vegetable plot. Water can seep through the tiny holes in the bed into the soil, which sits on top.

Sylvia - Gardening with ChildrenFollowing on from our kids and gardening post, Sylvia of Gardening with Children was kind enough to give us insight into how parents can encourage children to get into gardening. Sylvia highlights the importance of “encouraging your children to grow things that they will enjoy eating. Tomatoes and lettuce are good choices as they can also be measured every day, as well as mustard and cress that can be grown on moist cotton”.

Many garden journalists that Sylvia has spoken to started gardening with their grandparents, who were often kindly asked to tend to the garden. Involving grandparents is a great way to keep your little green fingers motivated and excited about gardening! Perhaps it might be a good idea to give kids a few worms to set onto the soil. Air is essential for healthy compost so worms can lend a helping hand in airing it out.

Sylvia says that “after eating something good, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep the children inspired” and to remember to “keep a note of what they respond well to”.  Sylvia’s team will also soon be releasing an iPhone app called GYO Journal (Grow Your Own Journal), aimed at schools. Teachers can use the app to inform the children what they will be growing and also give them hints and tips.

Using the trampoline for garden purposes is just one way to recycle it. With enough creative energy it may be possible to turn your trampoline into a sandbox cover, putting green or even a homemade hammock!

5 fun facts about trampolining

1. The current world record for the most twisted somersaults on a trampoline is 84 in one minute. It’s held by Dominic Swaffer, of London.

2. The G-force on a trampolinist for each move is 14.2

3. The world’s longest trampoline is a whopping 170ft long (the same length as 13 double-decker buses!). It’s located in a forest in Russia.

4. As of the Sydney Games in 2000, trampolining is an Olympic sport.

5. During a competition, a trampolinist is in contact with the trampoline bed for just 0.3 seconds between moves!

girl on trampoline while her mum watches

Safety advice

There is extensive advice when it comes to trampoline safety. We asked John Beer for his top safety tips when using a trampoline:

 Until those using the trampoline are proficient, one person on the trampoline at a time.
Ensure the trampoline is level.
An enclosure can help prevent children falling from the trampoline but don’t be dependent on this.
Round trampolines are usually safer for home use, the bigger the better.
If possible the trampoline can be sunk into the ground
All trampolines should have ‘cover all’ pads (padding covering the frame and the springs).

For further advice and information about trampoline safety visit The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents leisure safety page.

Want to put the spring into your summer? Visit Wilko.com for our range of trampolines and enclosures.

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