Let’s channel our inner Madonna as we sink our teeth into today’s “jacked” tip – are you ready to jump? Let’s face it: these days, we don’t have a lot of time or the energy to devote to working out. With economic woes, people are putting in more time at work, they are sometimes even working two jobs. And then there’s our Ke$ha lifestyle of partying ’til the wee hours of the morning, sleeping in late, getting ourselves together just enough to pull off a couple hours of work and repeating the process at the end of the day. Of course, there are those who really do have the time to workout but just don’t, but there are people who really do want to workout, get healthy and fit, but just don’t have the time, money or tools to do so. This is going to blow your mind– there’s a workout you can do in 10 minutes that will work your whole body, serves as cardio (so it’ll improve your heart health), will help you lose weight, shred through fat … and you can do it everywhere at any time with a piece of equipment that can be as little as a $7.00 investment – jumping rope! This can be really helpful particularly if people are worried about their health. Doing a bit of exercise can be a huge help, of course, you should only do what is right for you. If you have a heart issue then you don’t want to overdo things. You can ask you doctor for guidance on what is the right thing. If you are worried about your health, or you know that you have had issues before, then you might be thinking should I get critical illness insurance? If you are worried about your future and want to make sure that you don’t have an issue then this might be something that you might want to consider.
Okay, you may think I’m pulling your leg but I’m not. Jumping rope is a serious cardio exercise that will work you out better than anything else out there. People overlook this exercise because they think it’s something for children, or that it’s just for girls … neither being true. Think of boxers: how do they condition their bodies? They box and they jump rope. Here’s a surprising fact about jumping rope: 10 minutes of jumping rope burns just about as many calories as jogging at a moderate pace for 30 minutes! This is what makes jumping rope the perfect exercise for those short on time. People flock to running or even cycling because these are exercises known for burning the most calories and getting you fit the quickest. The downside to both is the time commitment: to get the most out of running or even cycling, most would have to commit 30 or more minutes to it.
There are other benefits of jumping rope. It’s one of those total body exercises – you’ll work muscles in your legs (the obvious place) but also in your upper body. Leg exercises can also work your midsection, meaning if you’re looking to strengthen and tone your core (your abdominals) you can do so with jumping rope. Those who have knee problems or are afraid of ruining their legs and knees can jump rope knowing it’s not going to be as hard on them as running hard for 30 minutes would be. Jumping rope improves your agility and endurance, meaning if you feel your balance could improve, get to jumping! Also, if you’re an athlete and play sports like basketball and soccer, jumping rope will improve your agility and make you better at what you do. Of course there are the aesthetic changes you’ll see with constant jump roping: lean muscles, a toned upper body, fitter legs.
Jumping rope is something you can do anywhere and at any time, making it the perfect exercise. You don’t need to spend tons of money on a fancy jump rope: get a good nylon jump for as little as $7.99 and you’ll be fine. Unlike gym memberships, expensive equipment and treadmills, a jump rope could last you years so paying upwards to $10 on a good one is not necessarily a wasted purchase. Another great point to jumping rope? It’s one simple move that once you have down won’t require learning a dozen variations as you would with weight training and other exercises. Some will tell you to aim for 8 reps (jumps), 10 sets total so 80 jumps in all. I say forget that. Get yourself a timer or better yet make an upbeat playlist on your iPod that’s 10 minutes in duration and just jump. If you’re not an avid jumper, the first week or two is going to be a bit rough. As you progress, jumping will come easier and you can vary it up – double jump, jump on one leg, toss in a fancy jump (where you cross your arms and jump mid air, jumping through the little loop the rope will make), you could even jump while walking. This all takes time, practice and coordination but will give you a workout that’ll get your body in shape and have you burning through calories as if you were a marathon runner. Want to really get things going? I like to run for an hour each day, two 30 minute sessions. You could jump rope each day, 30 minutes total, 3 sessions of 10 minutes. Separate the sessions (of course) so you’re not tiring out and by the end of the day, with 30 minutes of jumping rope, you’ll have done a sufficient amount of cardio and have burned the calories of someone who ran an hour and a half!
I’m a big fan and advocate of jump roping (as you can tell). It’s something I mix into my weekly workout routine and something that’s helped keep me fit and keep the weight off that I’ve lost over the years. Don’t let stereotypes or fears that you can’t do it keep you from this gem of an exercise. As Madonna sang on her album, ‘Confessions on a Dancefloor’, “Get ready to jump!”