A BOY of seven who regularly found himself in hospital due to severe asthma is now bouncing with health after taking up trampolining.
Sharon Sørensen has taken son Tom to the Edinburgh Spirals Trampolining Club for more than a year and says taking part in the activity has transformed his life.
The P4 pupil at Bonaly Primary has had two hospital-free winters since taking up the sport and is no longer taking weeks off school due to asthma.
Sharon, of Colinton, said that it was only after reading studies on the health benefits of trampolining, which is used as therapy for a range of respiratory conditions including asthma, that she linked it with the amazing turnaround in Tom’s health.
She said: “At age five-and-a-half Tom asked to try trampolining and he hasn’t looked back. The effect trampolining has had on his asthma has been truly remarkable.
“He still takes his inhalers twice a day but has managed to keep bouncing through many a sniffle that before would have resulted in a very ill boy.”
Tom first showed symptoms of asthma at nine weeks old.
He previously took part in gymnastics but his fun would often be curtailed by the condition. A common cold could result in week-long courses of steroid tablets, night trips to A&E and hospital admissions.
But while exercise is a trigger for nine out of ten asthmatics, there is also evidence it can help keep it under control as it can reduce the airway inflammation driving the condition.
And trampolining, which unlike running or cycling does not put as intense a demand on the lungs, is an ideal form of exercise to help asthmatics, with experts suggesting regular exercise can help sufferers improve their breathing, cut down their reliance on medication and even help them cope with asthma attacks.
It is hoped the breakthrough will inspire hope for thousands of sufferers.
Tom’s trampolining group The Edinburgh Spirals were recently named Sports Club of the Year at the Edinburgh Sports Awards, having seen their membership quadruple during the last 12 months.
The club moved to its new base at [EN]GAGE Sports and Fitness Centre at Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill Campus in August last year.
And [EN]GAGE manager Kevin Wright said: “Hearing stories like Tom’s is fantastic and helps drive our efforts to support small, local sports clubs.”
‘Exercise helps asthmatics’
DR John Dickinson, a lecturer in sport and exercise, is recognised as one of the UK’s leading experts on exercise and asthma.
“The bottom line is asthma is not an excuse to avoid exercise. There are many arguments to suggest exercise, up to a certain intensity and duration, can be beneficial for asthmatics. Exercise helps asthmatics improve the control of their breathing which can help them better control their symptoms at the onset of an attack.”