You might think that jumping rope is exclusive for kids. But think again! This simple exercise can do wonders for your body. You don’t even need fancy skills or equipment. Here are 7 ways you can benefit from jumping rope.
1. Stronger Heart
Jumping up and down increases your blood flow. This makes your heart nice and strong! As a result, it will do a better job at pumping blood all over your body.1 Jumping rope is a great practice for doing just that.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
Jumping rope helps control high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This is because well-exercised heart muscles can pump blood easily to all parts of the body. A strong blood flow allows arterial walls to relax.2 The outcome is low blood pressure, which can protect you from heart attacks and other heart conditions.
3. Lower Cholesterol
As you exercise, HDL (good) cholesterol increases and LDL (bad) cholesterol decreases.3 This prevents cholesterol from building up in your arteries and causing a block. It’s another way to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease.4
4. Weight Control
If you’re trying to lose weight, why not jump rope? During low- to moderate-intensity exercise, as in jumping rope, the body uses the energy stored in fat cells, causing them to shrink.5 It’s an easy way to keep your waistline in check.
5. Stronger Arms
The repeated arm movement will strengthen your arms! This will protect you from injury in the future. You don’t even need to rotate your arms too much. Simply using them to jump rope will tone those muscles.
6. Healthier Bones
Jumping rope is a weight-bearing exercise, the kind that can improve your bones. It will promote greater bone mass and prevent osteoporosis, especially if you’re a woman.6
7. Stress Relief
Like all exercise, jumping rope can relieve stress by encouraging the production of endorphins. These brain chemicals make you feel good! Just 5 minutes of jumping rope can ease your anxiety.7
Jump Rope Is Not For Everyone
Jumping rope is a high-impact activity that can cause complications in certain bone and heart conditions. Refrain from jumping rope if:8
- You suffer from inflamed joints, osteoporosis, or rheumatoid arthritis.
- You suffer from a heart disease or belong to a family with a history of heart disease.
How To Jump Rope: Tips To Get It Right
If health is on your side and you’ve set your mind to looking and feeling better, here’s how you can make most of your rope time:9
- Wear the right shoes: Ensure your shoes have enough cushioning to give you the spring you need and to serve as shock absorbers for your body. Cross-trainers or aerobic shoes are usually apt. Avoid runners.
- Avoid hard, concrete surfaces: For reasons similar to wearing cushioned shoes, it’s best to jump rope on carpeted or wooden surfaces or on a mat. This will reduce the recoil impact on your knee joints.
- Use your wrists: Novices may tend to indulge in a shoulder action to turn the rope and get an extra swing. Don’t use your shoulders. Focus on your forearms and gently turn the rope from your wrists.
- Maintain proper form: While jumping, ensure your knees and ankles are bent. Keep your torso straight.
- Ease your body into it: Don’t stress your body with doing too much too soon. Start with say a minute of jumping rope followed by 3 minutes of rest. Work your way into longer jump times and shorter recovery periods.
- Warm up and cool down: As in the case of any exercise, warm up with light cardio like a walk or march before you start and cool down with some stretches when you’re done.
- Do it 3–4 times a week at least: You cannot expect results without diligence and dedication. Considering you can do this exercise anywhere, make a personal commitment to regularly jump rope – most days of the week and even when you’re traveling.
Remember, you only need a jump rope to do this exercise. This makes it a cheap and easy workout! You’ll also be able to practice coordination while you get your jump on.
|↑1, ↑2||Your Guide To Physical Activity and Your Heart. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Insitute. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑3||Know The Facts About High Cholesterol. Centers for Disease Control.|
|↑4||What Is Cholesterol? National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute.|
|↑5||Benatti, Fabiana Braga, Fábio Santos Lira, and Lila Missae Oyama. “Strategies for reducing body fat mass: effects of liposuction and exercise on cardiovascular risk factors and adiposity.” Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity: targets and therapy 4 (2011): 141.|
|↑6||Exercise for Your Bone Health. National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.|
|↑7||Exercise for Stress and Anxiety. Anxiety and Depression Association of America.|
|↑8, ↑9||Skip Yourself Fit. British Rope Skipping Association.|