Skipping ropes and how effective an exercise it is!

SKIPPING ROPES AND HOW EFFECTIVE AN EXERCISE IT IS!

Skipping ropes or Jump ropes as they are also called are very popular and often promoted for weight loss.

Now, you might be thinking… Aren’t skipping ropes meant for children?

Well, yes. Skipping ropes is a very favoured children’s game but it is a great exercise to build up stamina and endurance. Athletes find themselves using this exercise for the very same reason.

WHERE DO I START

The first thing you need to start this exercise is obviously, a skipping rope. What you need is a good quality sturdy plastic rope that is used in a gym and are easier for speed work.
The next step is to make sure that the rope fits you comfortably, as most ropes are 8 to 10 feet long. Stand on the rope and hold the handles on either side at waist height, you can adjust the rope at that length. 

 The next thing you need to make sure to pick a nice, flat surface to jump on like an exercise mat or concrete floor. If you are working outdoors, make sure there is nothing in the way like pebbles, sticks, or long stalks of grass.
Benefits of Skipping Rope

BENEFITS OF SKIPPING ROPE

Now you might be wondering how skipping rope will actually help you. Here’s how –

  • Improve your Coordination – Since you have to keep an eye on your feet and make sure you don’t actually trip over the rope, your coordination is greatly improved. Making this exercise a part of your daily routine will help you get lighter on your feet.
  • Decrease Ankle and foot injuries – As discussed earlier, athletes practice skipping ropes to improve their endurance. But this also improves foot coordination, and strengthens the muscles of the feet.
  • Burns Calories - According to Science Daily, “This aerobic exercise (skipping rope)can achieve a “burn rate” of up to 1300 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump.Ten minutes of jumping rope can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile.” Which is more than if you were to jog for the same time!
  • Improved Bone Density - Dr. Daniel W. Barry, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, at Denver, and a researcher who has studied the bones of the elderly and of athletes, says “Jumping is great, if your bones are strong enough to begin with, and you probably don’t need to do a lot either.”
    It is crucial to check with your physician first, before starting any exercise if it is ideal for you.
  • Improved Heart Health – Heart health or cardiovascular health is greatly improved by doing aerobic exercises such as skipping ropes. It increases blood flow to the heart and improve the oxygen capacity of the lungs.Even 3-5 times per week for even 12 - 20 minutes is a great place to start.
  • Improved Breathing efficiency – Any Aerobic exercise you do with increase the maximum amount of oxygen you breathe in. This will improve your stamina, and thus help you perform better in other exercises you may follow (like strength training, pilates, yoga)
  • Affordability and Portability – Skipping rope is perhaps the most cost effective exercise you can do. All you need to do is invest in a good quality rope and you’re set! Moreover, you can easily take it with you on your travel and keep fit on the go.
  • Improved Brain health – Yes, you did hear that correctly. Jumping ropes not only improves physical health, but it has a positive impact on brain health as well. It plays a role in the development of both hemispheres of the brain, consequently enhancing spatial awareness, improving reading skills, increase in memory and retention as well as making you mentally alert.

The above stated reasons are enough to get anyone off their chair and start skipping. However, what if you’re not ready to commit to this exercise yet? Or what if your coordination hasn’t aligned well enough for you to do this exercise properly?

Well, to that I always say. Just start. Even if you can make it to 5 repetitions, just start. You can also do some other exercises on the side that offer quite the same benefits of skipping rope, albeit not in the same proportion.
So here are a few exercises you can do while you improve on your jump rope capabilities.

  • Brisk walking or jogging – If you are someone who is just starting to exercise, well then the best thing for you to do is takea brisk 30 minute walk. It improves blood circulation, improves stamina and aids weight loss. Walking is al ow impact exercise for knees, and perfect for those who have a tendency to suffer from knee injuries. Once you are accustomed to your walk, you can start incorporation 5 minute jogging sprints interspaces with 2 minutes rest in your walk.
  • Jumping Jacks – Another great exercise you’ll probably remember from your school P.E. days. Jumping Jacks are very similar to skipping ropes. In fact, it is effectively the same, just done without the ropes instead. Jumping Jacks also improve heart health, increased lung capacity, are great for coordination, burn calories and also offer some muscle conditioning benefits. Jumping Jacks can also be used as interval training exercise, where you do these for 25 -30 repetitions in between your low impact cardia, such as walking.
  • Lastly, the burpees. They are a series of motions combined into one exercise that is done repeatedly as part of HIIT (High interval intensity training) and improves cardio conditioning, muscle tone and gets the heart rate going. Burpees also have a low impact on the knee and therefore great if you are a beginner or are prone to injuries.

Aerobic exercises are a great to be incorporated into your regular exercise routines. The promise a variety of benefits and you can do these exercises literally anywhere!

Now, go get your sweat on!

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