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What?s So Great About A Trampoline?

Looking for a fun way to exercise and stay healthy? Doctors say that rebound exercising is one of the healthiest, safest kinds of exercise for your joints and heart. It's aerobic, it's fun, and it doesn't put the same stress on your joints and tendons that impact exercise like jogging does. What's rebounding? You probably know it better as 'jumping on a trampoline'.

Trampolines for the garden or yard have become one of the hottest sports in the world. And why not? It's great for you. You can do it alone or with others. You can use a trampoline to help you brush up on other skills - snowboarding, anyone? A trampoline in your back yard or garden is like having a gym right outside your door.

Alone or with others? Trampolining is a recognized Olympic sport, and was one of the official gymnastics events of the 2000 Olympics. It has been an official competitive sport since 1947, though it wasn't recognized as one in the United States until 1967. Among the events that are held in official competitive trampolining and tumbling are Synchronized Trampoline in which two athletes perform identical routines on two trampolines, and the double mini-trampoline, in which one athlete performs on two mini-trampolines set at two different levels. Just think - a trampoline for your yard or garden could start your family off on the road to competitive success!

Even if you've got no ambitions to become a tumbling superstar, though, the health and fun benefits of having a trampoline in your yard/garden are clear.

To set up a trampoline, all you need is a backyard that is clear of obstruction around the width and height of the trampoline and for about 15 feet beyond. Trampolines come in many different sizes and styles to fit your space and your needs. Round, square, rectangular or octagonal, in sizes from 6 feet across to 30 - there's a trampoline out there that's perfect for your yard or garden space.

Rectangular trampolines are generally made of more durable materials than round ones because the design requires stronger materials. They have criss-crossed springs to draw the tension even, and create a uniform bouncing surface. You can buy rectangular trampolines in sizes starting as small as 10 feet in length.

By contrast, round trampolines have springs positioned around the perimeter and the tension tends to make a 'sweet spot' in the very center. If you move out of the center, the focus of the tension shifts, making it harder to maintain your balance. The frame needed is lighter, and can be made of less expensive materials, making them cheaper to buy than other shapes.

There are special considerations if you're buying a trampoline for the garden or yard for children to use. Pediatricians and children's safety experts warn against allowing children to use standard trampolines for a number of reasons. These include the possibility of little fingers getting caught in trampoline springs, children falling off the edge of trampolines and children injuring themselves attempting tricks that they aren't ready for. Because of those safety concerns, there are trampolines designed specifically for children that use a different style of spring, and accessories available to make trampolining safer for them. Among those are enclosure nets and non-slip surfaces.

Ian Wide has contributed many articles to sports related sites including pieces on trampolines.

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