If you doubted the physical benefits of jumping up and down consider a study by NASA, the space agency, which concluded that just one hours’ trampolining can outweigh the benefits of other types of exercise such a jogging.
Fans of trampolining in Brussels have been rather deprived of suitable facilities to indulge their passion but, thankfully, a new centre has just opened which is already proving a huge hit.
Called “KoJump” the centre is, slightly unusually for such places, situated in the middle of a residential area in Ixelles. It occupies the former gym of an adjacent secondary school and was launched by Youssef Bachir and Fabien Feys, a couple of innovative Belgian entrepreneurs with a background in marketing and the building trade respectively.
Opened in November, the park is great fun but, importantly, also performs an educational role. For example, it opens to groups of people with autism and a disability (mental and physical) who, while they may not always be able to use the trampolines as can able-bodied people, are still able to derive invaluable sensory and other benefits from the facility.
Under a partnership scheme, some schools, meanwhile, also send groups of kids to use the trampolines in lieu of a gym lesson.
The centre has also been used by professional gym clubs and even a Finnish gymnastics champion.
All, says Rubina Owadally, its sales manager, stand to reap some of the potential health benefits from this popular pastime, as detailed by the NASA study on the effects of trampolining on astronauts.
Rubina, whose background is in dance, says, “It is not always appreciated how valuable trampolining can be from a health and fitness point of view. But, as the NASA analysis shows, those benefits are real. Trampolining is good for the circulation, bone development and the muscles. Of course, it is also a lot of fun and an ideal place to let off steam.”
The centre, located on rue des Merisiers, 1050 Ixelles, is open to young and old, with a standard one hour jump costing just €10 (plus €2 for the special socks which must be worn in the park). At weekends, the park is reserved from 9-10am for kids aged 3 to 6 and thereafter stays open until 9pm (Saturday) and 8pm (Sunday).
Unlike a lot of similar facilities which tend to be on the outskirts of a town or city, the centre is ideally situated close to ULB and Ixelles Cemetery and with excellent direct train/tram/bus links to the centre of Brussels.
So far, its popularity has spread merely on the back of word-of-mouth recommendations and via social media but the place is often packed, especially at weekends when prior booking (which can be done online) is strongly recommended. Up to 65 people are allowed on the park at any one time and bookings are on the hour.
So successful has this place proved, that other KoJumps are planned for Waterloo and Liege, probably later this year.