NASA, astronauts, and trampolines? Really? Talk about a story to whip out when visiting a trampoline park with your family. It definitely sounds more interesting than browsing the websites, trying to choose a trampoline place to visit with the young ones.
Yes, we bet you had no idea that trampolines had such an interesting history… No wonder, it’s not common knowledge. But it should be. Could you imagine an astronaut jumping up and down an indoor trampoline in Peoria, AZ? Lo and behold, we’d like to witness it too. Until that happens, though, here are some facts about trampolines and NASA.
When did NASA start using trampolines and why?
Again, the “you taking a mickey?” exclamation would be quite a normal reaction when you first hear about NASA and trampolines. But, honestly, the love of NASA for trampolines started in the year 1980. You could almost say it was love at first sight. At a second glance in the least!
It was then that NASA, that is, its Biomedical Research Division, conducted an in-depth study on all the potential benefits of jumping up and down on a trampoline. Their focus was, as you might have guessed, on astronauts and trampolines.
Then, not long after carrying out this research, NASA started implementing trampolines into their astronaut training program. The basic health benefits, the research stated, were similar to ones an astronaut would receive running on a treadmill.
But it wasn’t just that. The results of the research, which we’ll comment on in a bit, proved that exercising on trampolines was an excellent method to combat the numerous negative effects zero-gravity environments can have on the body. And that’s massively important for astronauts, hence our “love” analogy from the beginning.
What did NASA explore by using trampolines?
As we’ve mentioned, NASA was giving it their all trying to explore all the advantages of using trampolines when training astronauts for outer space missions. They wanted to see if trampolining could really replace some of the more traditional exercising methods.
First, they assembled a team of 8 volunteers, their age ranging from 19 to 26 years of age, and started testing the response of their bodies to trampolining exercises. They measured oxygen consumption, heart rate, as well as G-force on the forehead, ankles, and lower back.
And that’s about it when it comes to the areas of exploration. NASA researchers first collected the data from the usual treadmill exercises, then from the trampoline exercises, compared the two, and drew infallible conclusions.
What did they find out?
Now, we come to the interesting part. Maybe you out to sit down for this, as it can be quite a mind-bender. We were just as surprised as you’re going to be when we first heard about it. So, here are the key findings:
- Jumping on trampolines proved to be a whole-body exercise that places absolutely no unnecessary pressure on a person’s joints.
- Trampolining makes you stronger on a cellular level by exposing every single one of your body parts to ample environmental stress.
- While trampolining, a person uses a staggering 68% less oxygen than when running on a treadmill, and there is a lot less strain on the heart.
- The maximum force on an extremity at any given time never exceeds 4-Gs, which makes trampolining gentle and safe.
And that’s incredible. But, as incredible as it sounds and is, what does all of this have to do with astronauts, outer space, vacuum, and all that?
How do trampolines help astronauts?
And this is the most important question about astronauts and trampolines – how do they help these space cowboys? It all has to do with zero gravity, that is, its negative effects on a person’s body. Trampolining is a great way to battle those negative effects, while also improving the overall astronauts’ fitness.
Additionally, trampolines help improve:
- Motor skills
- Lung capacity
- Cardio capacity
- Muscular strength
And, as if all this wasn’t enough, trampolines can help astronauts even when they return to Earth. Astronauts are always in danger of losing bone mass in the weightless environment of space. Exercising on trampolines upon return can greatly help with getting your bone density back to normal once you get back home. Absolutely remarkable!
Which leading indoor trampoline park in Peoria AZ provides the exercise of the astronauts?
If you’d like to catch a glimpse of what it would be like to be an astronaut, the easiest way is to try out trampolining. While properly fun, trampolining is also quite beneficial to children’s development which is a great bonus if you ask us. What’s more, trampolines are great for toddlers, too!
And, you’re in luck if you’re a resident of Peoria, because of Uptown Jungle – the finest indoor trampoline place you could ever hope to find. Enjoying a sunny day at Lake Pleasant is a great idea, too, but our trampolines are the gentle body workout your body’s craving. Think trampolines – think Uptown Jungle!