The research on the health benefits that people receive when they exercise is beyond refute. Blood pressure and cholesterol decrease, energy levels increase, weight is lost and the over all sense of well-being that results from consistent exercisers is proof positive. One exercise often overlooked in a fitness program is jumping rope.
Jump rope exercises are an excellent cardiovascular program according to the US Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Council. It is also among the exercises recommended for conditioning by the American College of Sports Medicine. There is less damage done to client’s joints and it isn’t as hard on the muscles as jogging and running.
During running and jogging the foot absorbs up to five times body weight from the force of impact against the ground. During jump rope exercises, because both feet hit the ground simultaneously, the shock of hitting the ground is controlled and absorbed by the calf muscle.
Did you know that 10 minutes of jump rope exercising is equivalent to 1 mile of running? You all know I’m an efficiency freak when it comes to my workout. This is the only fact I need to know. Count me in.
- improves heart efficiency
- improves lung capacity
- promotes physical coordination and agility
- greater ROI (return on investment of time) than jogging.
- probably the cheapest fitness equipment purchase you will make
Start with the right equipment – Shoes should be supportive with good lateral stability; they will prevent ankle injuries and save wear and tear on the joints. Cross training shoes, tennis shoes and basketball shoes have great lateral stability built into the shoe. Be sure they are real tennis shoes, built specifically to play tennis and not generic shoes purchased at the department store.
Use the right jump rope. The rope should be heavy enough to develop a steady rhythm and long enough that the ends reach your armpits when you stand on the center of the rope. The handles should be thick and comfortable.
Try to use a floor that has some cushion that will reduce the impact to your legs. A floating wood floor, like on a basketball court, is significantly better than the concrete floor in your basement. Even better is jump rope exercises done outside in the grass. The ground provides cushion to your joints and resistance that means more energy expenditure for you.
Warming up and cooling down will help you to prevent injury and improve your flexibility. Warm up exercises can be a quick walk, climbing the stairs for a few minutes or jump rope exercises slowly.
It is common in the beginning to feel uncoordinated and miss the rope. Don’t give up. You will notice improvement, increased coordination and flexibility within a few short days.