Looking for an activity to take your workout up a notch? Try jumping rope. Yep. It’s not just for little girls and boxers. Jumping rope can be done anywhere and the equipment – the rope – travels easily.
I suggest getting a jump rope from a sporting goods store. Jump ropes for kids tend to be a little too light weight. You also want to make sure the rope is the right length for you. To determine the right length, stand on the middle of the rope and hold the handles at waist height. Adjust the length accordingly. If you don’t want to cut the rope, you can put knots in the rope. Be sure to place knots so that each side of the rope is balanced.
The health benefits of jumping rope include the following:
- Burns calories. Jumping rope at a mode rate pace can burn 10-16 calories/minute and up to 1300 calories per hour at a vigorous rate. According to Science Daily, ten minutes of jumping rope is equal to running an eight-minute mile.
- Builds agility/coordination/quickness. Jumping rope improves your coordination by making you focus on your feet, even if you are not aware of it. Your brain connects with your body making neuromuscular adjustments, which keeps you balanced. According to expert boxing.com’s Boxing Training Guide, the more tricks you do with the jump rope, the more conscious and coordinated you have to be.
- Increases bone density. The impact of jumping rope increase bone density, but it isn’t as hard on your joints as running. This is because the impact of each jump is absorbed by both legs. According to Dr. David W Barry, the best exercise to improve bone density is simply jump up and down.
- Increases brain health. Activities with both physical and mental demands, such as jumping rope, impact cognitive functioning than exercise tasks alone (treadmill or stationery bike). The best workouts for brain health involve coordination, rhythm, and strategy. According to the Jump Rope Institute, jumping contributes in the development of the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which enhances spacial awareness, improves skills, increases memory, and makes you more mentally alert.
- Decreases foot and ankle injuries. Jumping rope increases strength in the muscles surrounding the ankle joint and the foot. This helps decrease the chance of injury in those areas. Jumping rope requires you to stay on the balls of your feet instead of being flat footed or on your heels.
- It’s portable. A jump rope can go anywhere with you. You can find space almost anywhere to jump rope.
- Improves cardiovascular health. To increase your heart and lung health you need to jump rope three to free times per week for 12-20 minutes at a time.
- Improves breathing efficiency. Not only does jumping rope improve heart health and stamina, it also improves how efficiently you breathe. This will benefit you when performing your other activities.
- Improves your ability to calm down. Without getting into the biomechanics of jumping rope, it is the synchronous and harmonious coordination of the movements when jumping rope that benefits the mind to calm itself (Jump Rope Institute).
So go get yourself a rope and jump in feet first! (Pun intended ).