Little girls and sometimes older ones often move around by means of skipping. The majority of the time they are either smiling or humming as the go. Could there be a reason for this? This is because these girls are exercising without even knowing it and when you exercise you feel better about yourself. And then, skipping has progressed from something that only girls did to something that is a means of enhancing one’s physical fitness, especially by boxers. Believe it or not skipping was actually done mainly by boys in the 1700’s and progressed to include girls in the 1800’s. It was only in later years that it was championed by girls as a game. What started as a game has now developed into a great aerobic workout used by many throughout the world.
Skipping is a great cardio workout that can be done as an individual or can include more than one jumper using a long rope and two people turning the rope. To make skipping more complicated the double Dutch version is used where two ropes are turned in opposite directions, thus improving concentration and fitness, all the while having great fun. According to the UK National Health Service, all it takes is a few minutes of skipping,
The average person will burn up to 200 calories during 15 minutes of skipping.
Most people should be able to find at least 15 minutes in their day to participate in this calorie fun, burning activity.
The Incredible Benefits
Skipping not only burns calories but is known to tone upper and lower body muscle groups, improve coordination, as well as enhance endurance. Not only will those few minutes burn around 200 calories but your heart and lung fitness will improve. It leads to stronger bones, better flexibility, as well as better balance. According to Peter Schulman, MD, associate professor, Cardiology/Pulmonary Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, jumping rope can burn calories in a short amount of time and is good for heart health.
It’s certainly good for the heart. It strengthens the upper and lower body and burns a lot of calories in a short time, but other considerations will determine if it’s appropriate for an individual.
Not only does your heart benefit but while jumping your breathing increases thus improving your lungs as well. A further advantage is that jumping rope can actually build body awareness. As you jump you have to be aware of what your body is doing while you coordinate the swing of the rope and time your jump. Roger Crozier, physical education teacher at Fox Run Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas, and coach to a competitive jump-rope team says this:
One of the key things as an educator I didn’t realize until I started working with it is how it builds body awareness. With rope-jumping, you have to be aware of what your body is doing, and it’s a great skill for connecting the brain’s neurons.
Skipping is by no means a boring way to exercise as you can vary your skipping as far as your imagination can take you especially if you use the double Dutch method. In many streets throughout America and other countries of the world you often find children executing complicated routines to the rhythm of a rhyme they sing or to the rhythm of the rope as it hits the ground. These children are building healthy bodies and minds without realizing it. Boxers on the other hand purposefully use skipping as part of their workouts. If you have ever watched a boxer train, he does not simply jump; he also adds double jumps, twists and turns, manipulating the rope to match his footwork as he builds endurance, agility and fitness.
This is one sport that can be done on a small budget anytime of the day and practically anywhere. All you need is a 4X6 non-slip foot area, at least a 10 to 12 inch space above your head that is clear of any obstacles that may hinder the turn of the rope and a decent pair of trainers for your feet. For as little as $7 you can be training along with the best of them, getting a great workout without having to pay a fortune on gym fees. This portable piece of equipment can go anywhere with you, can be folded and can fit in a very small space so you no longer have the excuse that you cannot exercise if you cannot participate in an outdoor sport because this one can literally be done anywhere.
For The Beginner
However, just as for any type of exercise it is always important to check with your doctor before engaging in a particular sport. Due to the fact that skipping does have an impact on your joints it is wise to have your doctor’s approval before commencing skipping. When first starting with skipping as a form of exercise start slow. Try doing a few repetitions then pause or simply march on the spot then do a few more repetitions. As your fitness improves you can build up to longer periods of jump time. Jump on the balls of your feet instead of landing with a flat foot. The balls of your feet will act as shock absorbers and you will build great calves in the process. An inch is all it takes to successfully jump over the rope so you need not jump too high. Jumping too high will only exhaust you faster leaving you de-motivated and out of breath. Add music to your routine so long as the beat of the music sets a fast enough rhythm that will match your jump speed. If the music pace does not fit then hum a tune to the rhythm of your rope and you will find it easier to jump for longer periods of time. This truly is a fun way to exercise and because of this your kids will be more than eager to join you in getting fit and healthy together.