4 fun ways to jump into fitness with your family

4 fun ways to jump into fitness with your family

July 10th, 2013

By Aimee Heckel

There’s a wise saying that goes something like this: Buy a kid a toy and you entertain him for an hour. But give a kid a trampoline and entertain him for a lifetime.

OK, that’s not not a real saying, but it should be. Because it couldn’t be any more true.

Kids love to jump: trampolines, pogo sticks, hopscotch. Even the potato-sack race comes down to jumping.

Maybe they’re onto something. The health benefits of safely jumping (underscore safely — we’re not talking about blowing out knees and doing untrained back flips that will leave you toothless) are surprisingly long.

Just a few of the things that studies have shown jumping can do include:

  • Improving coordination, balance, muscle control. 
  • Teaching rhythm and bilateral motor skills.
  • Improve visual control that can help with schoolwork.
  • Decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Some studies found found jumping can even improve the functioning of your cells by squeezing out toxins and moving nutrients through the body. The list goes on and on.

Jumping isn’t just good for your kids. Burn tons of calories, strengthen muscles and even get an extra dose of those happy hormones — endorphines — when you bounce as a family.

Here are four fun ways to bring a little bounce into your life:

unnamed1. Get a trampoline. If you have the yard, get a full-sized one, like this 15-footer at Target for about $500. Make sure it has the netting guard, to prevent injuries and the accidental launching of your littlest one.

2. If you’re limited for space (or money), pick up a 38-inch mini trampoline, like this guy at Macy’s for $59.99.

Of course, remember to use the Macy’s coupons and buy through ShopAtHome.com to get 5 percent Cash Back.

photos3. Try something new, like Kangoo Jumps. These shoes look pretty crazy and they may even look intimidating, but they’re surprisingly easy to use and a complete blast. Read more about their low-impact, high-results promises here.

4. Pick up that ol’ jump rope again. You might be surprised what a killer workout it is, since you last tried it. Work on tricks with your kids, do challenges or jumping relays together or even get a longer rope and teach them how to Double Dutch. Here’s a nice speed rope at Vitamin Shoppe.

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Aimee's passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning news articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and she majored in journalism and German at Colorado State University. When she's not writing stories for a Colorado newspaper, she travels and volunteers for Think Humanity, her family's nonprofit that helps refugees and disadvantaged people in Africa. She's also a mom, a wife and a furious bargain-hunter. Reach out to her at AimeeHeckel.com, find her travel board on Pinterest, follow her on Twitter, or ping her on Google+.

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