I remember when I was in elementary school, there was this fundraising campaign going on throughout the district every year called “Jump Rope for Heart”. I think it was to encourage kids to raise money for awareness of physical activity, healthy eating, and childhood obesity.
Well, all I remember is that this resulted in a heck of a lot of jumping rope with friends during recesses, and also getting a free “Jump Rope for Heart” T-shirt that I used to wear around aaalll the time. I loved it!
Alas, somewhere along the way, jumping rope got thrown by the wayside in favour of one too many Saved by the Bell and Fresh Prince of Bel Air episodes.
Well, now, as an adult, I’ve rediscovered my love for the ol skipping rope. I recently mentioned that the lady who’s been giving me reiki sessions recommended I give it a try as a way to get my heart pumping throughout the day and improve my energy. Well I took the suggestion, and I’m hooked! So I wanted to share with you ten great reasons why you may consider picking up a jump rope.
1) Exercise is important for beautiful skin
If you want beautiful skin, you need to exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym, but you do need to get off your butt a little bit every day… let’s face it – we all know that moving your body is a huge part of being healthy, even if you have no skin problems! Jumping rope is an excellent form of exercise that is fun, easy to do, and inexpensive (points we will be covering in the rest of the article!)
Exercise can help reduce acne in the following ways:
– It increase blood flow, which means more nutrients get to your skin
– Promotes elimination of toxins
– Strengthens internal organs to work more efficiently
– Can open pores and eliminate toxins through sweat
– Heavily contributes to hormonal balance
– Relieves tension and stress
2) Jumping is the best exercise for a healthy Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is like your body’s sewer system. It removes all sorts of waste and toxins from your blood and moves them out to be eliminated. However, unlike your circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump. It relies on the expansion and contraction of your muscles to move it around your body.
A healthy, circulating lymphatic system is very important to healthy, beautiful skin. And it just so happens that the up and down motion of jumping rope ( jumping on a trampoline, also) is one of the absolute best exercises for moving the lymph system.
3) It’s a full body workout
Jumping rope literally has it all – it works your legs, it works your abs, it works your arms, it works your heart, it works your mind. It increases strength, agility, speed, timing and rhythm. Its medium impact increases bone density, but isn’t as hard on your joints as running. It’s both a fantastic cardio and strength training workout all in one.
4) You can do it anywhere
I know it seems like you’d need a lot of space to jump rope, but you don’t. A little bit in front, a little bit in back, and some overhead clearance, and you’re golden. At first I assumed I wouldn’t be able to jump inside my tiny little house – but I can in a specific rectangular space in my living room without any problems.
Being able to do it indoor is great news – it will be the perfect thing to get me off my butt in the dead of winter when outdoor activity doesn’t look very inviting!
5) Equipment is minimal and easily transported
All these benefits, and you don’t even need any fancy machines, heavy weights, or complicated equipment. A jump rope is simple, and so discreet – put it in your backpack (or your purse), you won’t even know it’s there, and you can take it anywhere with you.
6) It’s inexpensive
My jump rope only cost me 9 bucks! So cheap, and well worth it. You can get jumping ropes in any fitness section of department stores, or in sports stores. You can also look at thrift stores, or in toy stores.
7) It’s fun!
You see, I’ve been looking for something that will help me to stay more active during the day when I am working at home from my computer. It’s just so easy to be a lump on the couch. And especially because I couldn’t think of anything that sounded fun to get me up and moving on a regular basis. I thought about maybe getting up and doing a few reps with my hand weights or something – but ugh. Sounded so boring. Never happened.
Well, I am happy to say that getting up and jumping rope for five minutes every so often throughout the day has filled my needs – it reminds me of being a kid, so it’s fun, and I actually look forward to my next jump sesh.
8) It’s simple, fast, and non-interruptive
Another thing that was a problem in my quest to find something to get me moving more throughout the day is that I needed an exercise that was both fun, and fast.
For example, I’ve been absolutely loving riding my bike all summer, and I still plan to continue this, but getting up to go for a bike ride isn’t something I want to do multiple times a day because it’s not fast. You have to get dressed for the weather, get your helmet, your water, get your bike out – and then it’s not something that gets your heart pumping super fast right away. I feel like you need to go for a decent sized bike ride to make it worthwhile.
Jumping rope, on the other hand – you just put on some shoes, grab your rope, jump to your heart’s content for a few minutes either inside or outside – and then you can easily go right back to what you were doing!
9) It can warm you up quickly if you’re feeling cold
I have a problem – I love green smoothies for breakfast, but because I use a lot of frozen fruit and greens in them, I get super cold whenever I drink them! My instinct is that I always want to have a bath after to warm up, which I often do, but it’s not always convenient.
I’ve noticed that jumping rope is an excellent remedy to this! Five minutes of jumping and voila – the cold is a thing of the past. I also look forward to using this trick on cold winter mornings, before we can get the wood stove on to heat up the house.
10) There are tons of tricks to keep it interesting
After you’re an expert at jumping rope, or you’re doing long jump rope workouts, I can imagine it may end up getting a little repetitive – but luckily there’s all sorts of variations you can do with the jump rope to keep things interesting.
Tricks and variations include the basic one hop, alternating jumps, one foot jumps, side straddles, front straddles, running in place, double under, the skiier, and the arms cross! Click here for an article that further explains these.
I haven’t gotten that far to try out many of these, but sometimes I do – I just do what I feel like! So far my favourite thing is to either jump along to a favourite song, and each time I do it, try to jump for a longer song – or I like to count my jumps and every time I do a sesh, I try to beat my last score. I’m getting better! I started at being able to do 150 before getting winded, and now I’m well over 500.
Extra Jump Rope Tips
How long should your jump rope be? It should go from shoulder to shoulder while you’re stepping on it. Most adult jumps ropes are 9 feet when you buy them, but they can usually be shortened.
Wear shoes while jumping – you’ll believe me the first time you smack yourself in the bear foot when you mess up a jump! It smarts.
If you’re trying to get fit, try interval training with your jump rope – for example, jump 30 seconds super intense, 1 minute light, and repeat. Interval training gets better results in less time than regular output exercise.
I was just thinking this past week, of how I had not exercised enough, and then the thought came to me, that “what happened to skipping or jump ropes?” It’s a real exercise to skip, and I used to do a lot of skipping whie I was younger. So I guess many of us tagged skipping as one of those childish things, and abandoned it as we grew up. Meanwhile, unknown to us, it’s just as important today, as it was many years ago. You may not have all the time to go to the gym, buy all the exercise machines you dream of or to get all the dumbbells you want. But you can surely get a skipping rope, have fun and keep fit always with a skipping rope. I intend to do just that as well.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
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