By: Ashton Smith
When I think about jump roping, I think about how much I loved it as a child. Now as an adult, my outlook towards it couldn’t be any different. I remember always playing at recess jumping to double dutch or in P.E. class participating in Jump Rope for Heart. I keep asking myself, where did my passion for jump roping go? I am a very competitive individual, always have been and probably always will. I think where we go wrong as adults is taking away the FUN of something we used to enjoy by making it as just a workout. I challenge you and myself, to find the fun in a exercise that can be one of the most effective exercises that can improve your health.
Jumping rope can have many benefits for one’s health. The big reason everyone loves to hear is the amount of major calories it burns. As opposed to jogging for 30 minutes, jumping rope actually burns more calories, up to 1300 calories per hour of vigorous activity. Ten minutes of jumping rope is about equivalent to running an 8- minute mile. Jumping rope also increases quickness and agility. When jumping rope properly, on the balls of your feet, your body connects with the mind to make neural muscular adjustments to keep you balanced. Even if you jump rope for a few minutes every day you can subconsciously make your mind focus on your feet, which will improve balance as well. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, jumping rope is a highly recommended aerobic exercise. One must participate in this exercise 3-5 times a week for 12 to 20 minutes at a time, in order to increase heart and lung health. That’s it?
With all types of exercises we hear about today, not many are as cheap as $3! Even the top-of-the-line fitness jump ropes are only $15. My favorite part about it is you can do it in your garage, at the gym, or even at school or work. Many of you might be worried that jumping rope will be hard, but just like any other skill you have, it needs practice. Don’t give up!
Steps to Beginning the Jumping Rope Journey:
- Choose the right jump rope.
For beginners, you may want to consider a beaded jump rope or a licorice jump rope that is inexpensive, durable, and slower paced. Once you gain more experience, one may consider a speed rope which is meant to be fast.
- Size your rope.
If you are a beginner, a longer jump rope may be ideal. In order to size your rope perfectly, stand on the jump rope in the middle of the cord. The BOTTOM of the jump rope handles should come to your armpit.
- Pick the right surface.
Jumping rope should be a low impact activity. Hardwood floors are the best option as they give you a little extra bounce and are easier on your knees. Try to stay off of concrete unless on a mat or even carpet as it will cause your rope to bounce and you will have to jump higher to clear it.