Hit the trail or hit the trampoline, which activity gives you the best workout for the time and resources you invest? Jogging and jumping on a mini-trampoline require little training and minimal equipment. Both are aerobic activities that people of all ages can do. But each has its advantages and knowing what those are may help you to choose the most efficient exercise to meet your fitness goals.
A mini-trampoline, or rebounder, protects joints from the constant jarring that occurs when you jog. A research professor in the University of Utah's Department of Material Science and Engineering and Orthopedic Surgery studied the difference between working on a rebounder -- which absorbs about 87 percent of the impact -- and jogging on a hardwood floor. The study found that the impact force on a rebounder was about one-sixth the impact of jogging on a conventional surface. Lower impact helps to protect joints -- ankles and knees are especially vulnerable -- from injuries that can be caused by the repeat pounding of jogging or running.
Jog to burn calories and you'll off-load about 105 calories a mile -- that's the average for a 150-pound woman, according to Calorie Counter.If your jogging speed is 10 minutes per mile and you jog for half-an-hour, you'll burn 315 calories. Lose more if you weigh more, fewer if you weigh less. Rebounding, for the same gender and weight, uses about 210 calories per half hour. Both exercises will improve heart and lung efficiency, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and help with weight management. Calculate the amount of time you spend at either exercise to determine which is the best calorie burner for you.
Select Equipment and Access
Jogging requires a pair of running shoes, very simple. You can jog on a trail, a track, a treadmill or the neighborhood byways. Unless you have your own treadmill or belong to a gym, you'll be legging it outside -- if neither weather nor inhospitable terrain interfere. Rebounding requires a mini-trampoline and, for non-skid jumping, a pair of sneakers. Some rebounders fold down for travel so you can take your workout on vacation, very convenient. You could get in a few minutes of jumping here and there throughout your day with a rebounder and log more exercise time. Or you might benefit from the fresh air and focus of a stress-relieving run. Decide which combination of equipment and access suits your lifestyle and exercise goals.
Max Your G-Forces
Rebounding has the edge on jogging for fitness efficiency, according to a NASA study of exercise options for astronauts. The space agency found that bouncing subjects the body to gravity, acceleration and deceleration. You are exposed to a higher G-force -- two to three times your body weight for a fraction of a second -- when you hit the deepest point of bounce on the mat. You experience weightlessness -- complete relaxation -- for an instant at the top of your bounce. NASA concluded that, while both jogging and jumping on a trampoline increased heart rate and oxygen consumption, bouncing provided greater muscle strength, bone building and endurance, with less fatigue.
Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education .