With it now being Spring, I am experiencing memories of summers past when we neighborhood kids would play with jump ropes in the street. Back then I almost always had a jump rope with me, and now as an adult, I have gotten back into that habit.
I no longer have friends to play "Run Through School" or do the various versions of Double Dutch, but I still have joy in jumping rope in times of stress or for a great cardio before or after weight-bearing exercise.
I am not one of those people who enjoys long periods of cardio (except dance or swimming) so I like to keep it at 30 min or under. Jumping rope for 5-10 min with short periods of rest is perfect because it works the entire body, burns fat, and has mental benefits.
Read on for some reasons you should incorporate a few minutes of jumping rope into your routine if you are not struggling with any conditions that could be aggravated by it. Consult your health team if you have any questions about how jumping rope can be contraindicated for you.
Can Often Be More Effective Than Jogging
I have heard a lot of people say that they run an hour a day to target weight loss and I always wonder if they know that going to that extreme isn't necessary.
If you don't like running or you don't have that kind of time, jumping rope has many variations that can help burn fat without a machine or a change of environment.
By getting a good speed and rhythm, you can burn over 100 calories in 10 min! You never have to be intimidated by sweets or a drink ever again (in moderation) ;-)
Check out this article for 6 ways you can modify your fat-burning effectiveness
Works Your Core As If You Are Planking
Everyone has abs. The question you have to ask yourself is how much fat you're willing to let cover them.
Jumping rope forces you to engage your abdominal muscles in order to maintain balance and stability during the jump and the landing. This helps with toning the abs underneath and the heat generation will help you to shed excess fat all over the body.
Combining the jump rope sessions with weight resistance is a simple way to accelerate fat loss and tone as you go! Here's an article about how jumping rope helps your core.
Exercise That Can Be Done Almost Anywhere
A major factor in why many people don't workout is they believe they need fancy equipment or a partner to get started -- WRONG! Truth be told, to get or stay in shape you don't even need to leave your house.
Sometimes after the sun goes down I will go out to the parking lot and set my timer for a 30 min workout session that involves jumping rope and other standing exercises. If you have space in your living room or garage, you can jump rope there.
Even better news is that jump ropes are cheap and they travel well. You can take one to the park, a hotel, a vacation spot, the beach etc. If you lose one, replace it for under $10 or upgrade to a weighted or wireless one.
Should Not Be Done If You Have Developed Arthritis
I mentioned earlier that jumping rope can be contraindicated for you without proper treatment or tools (adequate shoes, proper ground surface, etc). Arthritis is a disease that involves the inflammation of joints.
If you have arthritis, most health providers suggest removing activities that require you to remove both feet from the floor or anything high intensity. However if you have a mild case of arthritis, are regularly consistent with stretches and coordination activities, and you careful with pace and exertion, jumping rope at low intensity is often possible and beneficial.
Ensure that you have a health team such as a doctor and a personal trainer to consult if you begin having pain aside from the soreness 48hrs after a workout. Here's some info on some safer ways to consider jumping if you have arthritis or other condition to ask about.
Adds Bone Density and Stability
Once we hit our mid-20s our bones start to break down. The only way to help them to effectively remodel (rebuild) is by adding stress or (overload) to them with the proper form.
Jumping is one of the most efficient methods to make bones stronger and more dense. The same way we encourage children to run and jump we should be encouraging ourselves and our parents prior to becoming elderly.
I cannot express how cool it is when I go to the rec center and I see people post-70 years old in there lifting weights! So if you don't have a set of dumbbells, medicine balls, or barbells, go the route of a jump rope until you have access to other modes of overloading your body to prevent osteoporosis and other bone conditions.
Exceptional For Relieving Stress
Physical fitness for me is my go-to whenever I am sad or pissed off. I have performance goals that I work toward with each session but whenever I feel I need to "regain control" in life, I start with myself.
Not only does jumping rope help increase circulation for the brain and cardiac system, but I find it very meditative. I can go until my arms get tired just by closing my eyes while jumping because I don't have to think of anything other than surrendering to my rhythm. I can jump rope to music or in silence and be satisfied.
It helps me to get outside and get into fresh air because I have high-pile carpet in my house, which you can't really jump rope on. I always feel accomplished after jumping because I set my timer and keep working my way up through the minutes. At the end I have done calorie burn and pushed myself, which means I got at least one win for the day!
Are you online yet ordering your new jump rope? Start out with trying to go 2 minutes, even if you have to reset your rope a few times. Remember that the point of this exercise is simplicity until you are ready to challenge yourself with speed, weight, or one leg.