Trampolines: great for kids and runners!

running and rebounding
We recently bought a trampoline! Finally!

I've wanted one for years, because I always hear parents saying how their kids love playing on the trampoline, and how they never get tired of jumping up and down.

Trampolines are great for runners!

And trampolines are great for runners too. They provide a nice work out! If you want one too, Tesco Direct offers great trampolines in all shapes and sizes.

Why rebounding on a trampoline is good for you:

  1. Jumping on the trampoline will help develop cardiovascular fitness
  2. Jumping on the trampoline forces your deep abdominal muscles to get to work.
  3. Rebounding offers strength training.
  4. Rebounding conditions your calf and leg muscles.
  5. Rebounding is gentler on your joints because the trampolines absorbs some of the shock. Rebounding is low impact.
  6. It's an easy way to do some crosstraining and spend some quality time with the kids : )

How does rebounding compare to running?

'Rebounding burns about 210 calories per 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise if you weigh 150 lbs. Jogging burns approximately 105 calories per mile. Jogging at 4 mph produces the same calorie burn rate.' (Source:

Trampolines motivate kids to get some exercise too

As a mom I'm very much aware of the need for physical movement in order for my kids to stay healthy. So I always worry about how much time they spend behind their computer, Wii, and Nintendo etc.

But when they're playing on the trampoline, I don't have to worry about lack of exertion! Trampolines actually offer me peace of mind!

Only one word of advice:

If you've had several kids, be sure to use the bathroom before you start jumping...

Try it yourself!

If you would like to try this at home, there are lots of free video tutorials on youtube. Here's one I liked:

Do you do crosstraining? And what kind?

Image: Shutterstock
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Underwater running on a treadmill!

I once took up aquajogging. That was before I become a Runner.

At the time I hated getting 'sweaty' so I figured aquajogging would get me some exercise, while at the same time keeping me nice and fresh.

During aquajogging you wear a belt around your waist, which keeps you afloat. And then you start running through the swimming pool. And let me tell you, it's exhausting.

When I got out of the pool, my legs felt like rubber.

Aquajogging can be a great alternative to running

Since then I've put my fear of sweat aside to become a Runner. And I've read a lot about how aquajogging is great for runners. Because aquajogging helps you exercise your running muscles, without giving them a pounding at the same time.

Underwater treadmills: more than an alternative to running

But now there's a whole new and exciting way of using the water to improve as a runner!

The good people of HydroWorx have created underwater treadmills!

You don't have to wear a belt to stay afloat, because the water doesn't come higher than your waist. And in front of you there's a little tv, showing your feet running. I've always loved to watch myself being sporty! Underwater running has got all the advantages of aquajogging, and then some more.

You can see a video of runners using the underwater treadmill on There you can also read about the use of their underwater training by Coach Alberto Salazar and Oregon Project Runners, Galen Rupp and Mo Farah (Both will be Olympians in London).

The advantages of underwater running

Underwater running is a great way to improve yourself as a runner, because you run against the resistance of the water. Running on land is a breeze after that!

No injury can stop you now!

We all know how hard it is for an injured runner to patiently have to wait before he or she can run again. You get anxious and fidgety, and worried. But thanks to underwater running injuries don't mean you have to stay on the couch anymore. You can still work out, because when you're in the water, your body is only bearing 25% of your body weight. So it's much easier on your joints and muscles.

I think it's a great invention! What do you think?

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Aroma therapy

I ran out of the woods, straight into a sunny meadow.

Delicious smell!

Suddenly, the most delicious smell reached my nostrils. It was the smell of freshly mown grass. Sniffing enthusiastically, like a bull spotting a pretty cow, I ran along until the smell ended just as suddenly as it had started.

But I wasn't complaining, because you don't get free aromatherapy every day!

Oh no, manure!

But then it hit me, right smack in the nose: manure. Some farmer decided to use this sunny to spread some shit.

That certainly didn't qualify as aromatherapy, but it served well as shock therapy!

Woke me right up!
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Bellydancing and running

belly dancing and running

Danny Dreyer, the author of ChiRunning has taught me an important lesson. Here it comes:

Pain is an opportunity to better myself in disguise!

Hips don't lie!

So when my right hip started sending frantic messages of discomfort I happily thought: 'Ah, a chance to improve my running technique!' Because like Shakira sang: 'Hips don't lie!'

Crosstraining for runners: belly dancing

So now I mix belly dancing into my runs. I do hip drops, figure eights, and stretching has never been more fun!

There I'll be, in my running skirt, doing my hip drops, and I can't help but think: running has never more fun to watch.

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Going of the beaten track

Every Saturday morning my husband drives into town to do some grocery shopping. I always use this opportunity to catch a ride, and run a different route then I do during the week.

Let's go off the beaten track!

Today I was about 5 minutes into my run, when I saw this interesting track on the right. I couldn't help myself, and took a right turn.

And the track took me places I had not planned on going. It was exciting and a bit scary at the same time. Because I felt like the path was taking me in the wrong direction.

However, I'm at home now, writing this post : )

So I did get home, even though I went off the beaten track.

Pictures of my run!

A sign I'm on the right track: a nice bench and a white arrow pointing to the left

I'm not lost! Look at the sign at the left!

Interesting... Don't know what the green things are though

Crossing a tiny bridge!

I'm not lost, but I accidentally stumbled on another track. Look at the different arrow....
All in all, I had a great run this morning. It was something different and it was adventurous.

And in the end I got home.

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I'm aware of the ground I run on


Now that I live in the country I run a lot on dirt tracks.

And from my running books I have learned this is good news to my body.

Because dirt tracks provide a softer landing.

Sidewalks are harsh to your body

When I lived in the city I avoided sidewalks as much as possible, because they're made of concrete. On the other hand: sidewalks are máde for pedestrians, so they are usually safer than the street. So whenever I could, I ran on the street, and if that was too hazardous I used the sidewalk.

I'm aware of the ground I run on

In general, I'm quite aware of the ground I run on. I really don't want to get hurt! Neither as a runner, nor as a mom.

I find it hard to protect myself from hurt as a mom, because I'm vulnerable through my children. But as a runner, I have more control!

Do you run on sidewalks? Dirt tracks? Bike paths?
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The woman in the mirror

There are times when I've really had it up to here with myself.

I wish I could take a vacation without me!

The constant worrying, the terrible scenarios even Stephen King would find too scary, and the doubts. And I find myself thinking:

'I wish I could take a vacation from myself!'

There's a part of me that I do like!

But today I was out running, and I suddenly realized: there's a part of me that I always like! A part of me I appreciate, and even admire. That's the part of me that goes out for a run five times a week, rain or shine.

And I find myself reconciling myself with me, and I decide:

'I'm not so bad after all.'
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Running scared

running scared
Brothers Lionhart: scary dragon

As a child I just loved the books by Astrid Lindgren.

In my mind I played with the children from Bullerby, lived on Seacrow Island and had adventures with the Lionheart brothers. So when I saw a dvd-box with the complete works of Astrid Lindgren I grabbed it and happily ran to the cash register.

Then the dvd-box just stood there for a while, gathering dust. Until this afternoon. In a surge of desire to be a Good Mom I announced: 'Let's play Let's go to the movies!, and we'll watch the Brothers Lionheart together!

Watching with the kids

The kids and I gathered on the sofa and watched both Jonathan and Karl dying and then go to the land Nangijala, which must be the most beautiful piece of land anyone has ever seen. With lots of trees carrying cherry blossoms, and gently sloping hills and small babbling brooks.

Indeed it would have been paradise if not for that big bully Tengil, who spoiled everything with his big fire breathing dragon.

But while I, as a child, I quaked with fear at the sight of  that big dragon my children just laughed.

'Is that dragon made from paper mache?' my son John giggled.
'It's sooo fake,' his little sister agreed.

Next time I'll watch it with my husband Floris.

At least he runs scared easily!
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Don't pass me..

Yeah... thát feeling....
I don't like it when people pass me.

I don't like it as a runner, and I don't like it in general. When I'm out there, running my heart out, and some runner effortlessly passes me, I can't help but grit my teeth.

Not until he or she has disappeared on the horizon, can I start to relax again.

Runners who are faster than me make me feel uncertain

Runners who run faster than me elicit all kind of feelings and thoughts. '

Am I really that slow? Why can she go so much faster! I don't get it. Shouldn't I run faster? She's obviously a much better runner than me. Why am I such a slow runner?!'

Uh-oh, what's happening?

But as much as I hate it, being the 'slow one' is familiar. So when I ran past a runner myself this week, I felt decidedly nervous.

'Any minute now, someone will come and tap me on the shoulder, saying: Who do you think you are!' I thought uncomfortably. But I felt even more uncomfortable when the running gentleman picked up hís speed, and we were running side by side.

Don't speed up when someone is passing you!

Then suddenly I didn't feel uncomfortable anymore; I felt annoyed! It's not very gentlemanly to speed up when someone is passing you! It's not nice on the motorway, and it's not nice on the 'runway'

My annoyance provided me just enough speed to get past him, and while I sped away I shouted triumphantly: 'Eat my dust!'

Well okay, I didn't.

I had too much trouble catching my breath.
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Reaching for your goal


Last week I decided to run 8 kilometers to a neighbouring town, and then back home.

Full of happy anticipation I followed the signpost pointing me to the right. I ran across a beautiful path, the sun gently smiling down at me, thinking smugly how very sporty I was.

T-junction: now what?

But then I came to a T-junction. I looked around me, looking for a sign, but found none. Now I know how Tom Thumb felt when he found out the birds ate all his breadcrumbs!

With nothing telling me which way to go, I had to follow my own, questionable, instincts. And they led me on a wild goose chase, causing me to double the distance.

When I finally reached my destination I couldn't face running back home. So I'm ashamed to admit, I hopped on the train.

All's well, that ends well

But in the end all's well, that ends well, because I ran 16 kilometers, which is exactly what I was aiming for.

Only in my plans I would be home again at 16K, instead of in the town I was aiming for.

Which just goes to show:

Sometimes you reach your goal, but in a different way than you anticipated.
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Mama has entered the building!

running mom

I was at school being a good little mom, wiping off hundreds of little wooden farm animals.

School materials have to be cleaned regularly of grubby little fingerprints. And volunteering is expected if you don't want to be known, as 'that mom who never helps out'.

Suddenly I heard excited whispers, culminating in one loud cry: 'Mommyyyy!'

He was happy to see me!

I looked towards the sound and there was my son Piet, looking like he'd just been offered a dozen Happy meals. I gave him a little wave, which made him jump up and down in a heady combination of joy and excitement, and he waved back so hard he almost fell down.

Now I know how people like Carl Lewis en Paula Radcliffe feel! And I didn't even have to run one centimeter.

All I had to do to receive this unadulterated adoration was being Piets mom.
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You know it's really cold when...


You know it's really cold when your glasses freeze during a run!

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