Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we'll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day in January that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from going without a cellphone for 40 days to trying the polarizing low-rise pants trend.
I have never enjoyed exercising. Unless it's Pilates or yoga, where part of the workout involves laying down, you can usually count me out. Cardio, for me, has always been a huge struggle, and I essentially stopped doing it after I stopped dancing in high school. I was feeling a little stagnant with the at-home workouts I had tried and wanted to commit to taking better care of my physical health. I wanted something to reinvigorate my body and help me find a sustainable way to make exercise part of my routine, but I wasn't sure what to do.
It wasn't until I saw Who What Wear's very own co-founder, Hillary Kerr, sharing her experiences doing rebounder (trampoline) workouts that I even considered doing cardio voluntarily. I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try and that bouncing on a trampoline was probably the most fun way I could improve my cardiovascular health, so I bought the most basic trampoline I could find on Amazon.
Even with my curiosity about rebounder workouts, I still found myself struggling with motivation to get on the trampoline and do a workout. When WWW staffers started talking about our "I Tried It Month," I knew that a challenge would be the perfect way to turn rebounder workouts into a habit. I decided to commit to a trampoline workout every day for 14 days, with the hopes I'd find a form of cardio that I don't dread. I set out to find free workouts on YouTube and decided to prioritize shorter workouts, as I wanted to make sure this was something I could keep in my routine no matter what, even when life feels hectic.
The first few days of my challenge were difficult. On my first day, I started out with a 10-minute workout, and it was so hard for me to keep up. My heart was beating harder than it had in years, and I was so out of breath that I had to take several breaks. Starting out, I found it difficult to get some of the motions and the balance right on one-legged jumps, but after repeating the motions, I started to get the hang of them. I wasn't enjoying myself until one movement in one of the workouts made me feel like Phoebe from Friends flailing about as she runs but still having fun. I literally found myself smiling while doing the move and realized that, while incredibly difficult, maybe these workouts could be fun.
By day three of my challenge, I still found the workout to be incredibly difficult, but I noticed that my heart rate and my breathing capacity felt better and that my body was getting used to this level of cardiovascular exercise. Despite how intense the workout felt afterward, I felt energized even after a long day of work. It took a few days, but I realized I was hooked when I was already looking forward to the next day's workout as soon as my breathing stabilized after finishing a workout. I found myself telling a friend about it over FaceTime and realized just how much I was enjoying it, which I never in a million years thought I'd be saying about cardio.
Midway through the challenge, I found my body adjusting to the workouts and getting used to the movements. I was only taking one break during a 10-minute workout, rather than a break after every set of reps like when I first started. I started to feel stronger, and I increased the length of my class to 15 minutes to see how I fared. I felt ready for it, and while it was difficult, it was rewarding to push myself further.
I did zero research on trampolines before purchasing mine, but about halfway through the challenge, I noticed a few things about our trampoline that made me question the longevity of the one I bought. At this point in the challenge, I'd gotten my boyfriend on board, and he was doing rebounder workouts after I would finish mine. On certain jumps, we both experienced our feet hitting the ground through the surface of the trampoline, and the trampoline would slowly slide as either one of us worked out. These are small, fixable issues, but we decided that, if we were both going to make this a permanent exercise habit, we wanted to invest in one that would last. I started researching trampolines that were similar to what I'd seen the instructors using.
I did some googling and watched a few YouTube videos to compare different brands and models to see which would be right. In all honesty, I was shocked at how expensive trampolines can be—some are priced as high as $1000. As a result, price drove my selection the most. Even though buying a better trampoline was an investment for me, I couldn't spend over $300, which limited my options. I settled on buying the JumpSport Model 250—between the price, the weight capacity, and the size of the jumping surface, I felt it was the best fit.
After it arrived, I noticed the difference between the two immediately. The added height and the cords gave it much more bounce than the first trampoline. I feel like I can get stronger and higher bounces without feeling as much of the impact. Since this trampoline has more stretch and bounce to it, I found I have less balance, which helps make the workout more challenging. Lastly, it feels significantly more sturdy and doesn't slip at all.
All in all, it comes down to personal preference, but I found both trampolines to be effective (and fun!) in getting a great workout.
Now, I can genuinely say that I enjoy doing trampoline workouts, and I've continued doing them since ending this challenge. I don't always make it onto the trampoline every day, but most days, I feel good that I can dedicate a little bit of time to getting my heart pumping and my body moving. I feel healthier and stronger than when I started this challenge, and I'm glad I found a form of exercise that can be fun at the same time.
Here are a few of my favorite workout picks.