Skip Your Way To Better Health

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.

Jumping ropeSkipping Burns More Calories

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.

Teenagers playing skipping ropeAnywhere, Anytime

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.

Bounce Your Way To Fitness With A Trampoline

If you thought that bouncing on a trampoline is only meant for kids then think again. Since the 1930s the trampoline as we know it today has been around and trampolining is now an Olympic sport. It is mesmerizing to watch a gymnast bounce on a trampoline, twisting and turning with grace and agility. Obviously this kind of bouncing is not for everyone and should be done under controlled conditions but there are many health benefits that the average person can gain simply from bouncing at home on a trampoline.

Woman Jumping On Trampoline In GardenBounce Benefits

Researchers have done studies to prove the effectiveness of rebounding or bouncing on a trampoline and the outcome was very positive. According to NASA,

…for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running, a finding that might help identify acceleration parameters needed for the design of remedial procedures to avert de-conditioning in persons exposed to weightlessness

In one particular study conducted by the Biomechanical Research Division, NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, it was found that by using a trampoline the entire body can be exercised without undue force placed on any body parts while they each receive the necessary amount of stresses needed to become stronger cell by cell. Less energy is expended so there is less demand on the heart and less oxygen is therefore used.

Other Benefits

Trampolining is an effective aerobic exercise and was found to combat depression, anxiety and stress due to the endorphins that were produced. On the aerobic side it was found that,

10 minutes of trampoline exercise is a better cardiovascular workout than 33 minutes of running

This in turn indicates that you can increase the amount of calories that you burn and speed up your metabolic rate at the same time. In addition, let’s not forget that bouncing on a trampoline is a great, fun activity that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Even the elderly can participate in bouncing thanks to the low force that is exerted on the joints. Lymphatic drainage has also been cited as a benefit of bouncing on a trampoline. Spas that offer lymph drainage therapy and massage explain that,

The benefits of lymph drainage therapy include a reduction of inflammatory responses (both acute and chronic), detoxification, regeneration of tissue, and deep relaxation, to name just a few.

The Lymphatic fluid needs exercise to move so with that in mind it would seem that jumping on a trampoline with its rhythmic up and down motion seems perfect for the increase of lymph flow. The lymph system has one-way valves that need to be forced open for the lymph to flow jumping causes these valves to open and close which, in turn, means better lymph drainage.

The Downside To Bouncing

There is only one downside to jumping on a trampoline and that is the risk of injury should you bounce incorrectly. Smaller trampolines have narrow mats covering the springs but there are no mats to break your fall should you bounce yourself off the trampoline altogether. Care should be taken to bounce in the middle of the trampoline. It should also be noted that home trampolines are not designed for doing tricks on. Somersaults, twists and turns should only be done under expert supervision and should never be done on home trampolines. Competition trampolines fulfill the recommended safety standards for all the movements that are executed on them whereas the home trampoline does not.

Nevertheless, the advantages definitely outweigh the one negative, so get bouncing, safely and start reaping the fitness rewards at the same time.

Pound Away The Pounds To A Rhythmic Beat

Freedom, rocking, power of music, awakening new senses and unleashing aggression are all synonymous with Pound, the new fitness workout that will have you losing between 400 and 700 calories per workout session. Have you ever noticed how rock band drummers end up drenched in sweat after a concert? It is because while they are pounding their drums they are essentially giving themselves the workout of a lifetime.

DrumsLet The Rhythm Move You

A love of music and drumming is what brought about this form of exercise that has evolved into an energetic cardio workout done with weighted drumsticks weighing around a quarter of a pound. This workout combines the art of drumming mixed with strength training and a great cardio routine set to music that places emphasis on the beat so each move is precisely executed. According to PoundFit this workout is a full body workout.

Each 2-4 minute song is carefully calibrated with interval peaks and extended fat burning sequences, providing you with the best workout in the shortest span of time.

One 45-minute Pound session will have given you a workout covering 15,000 reps with over 70 techniques with 30 extended interval peaks and the best part is that you won’t even know that you’ve done that much. What a fantastic way to melt away the pounds while getting rid of frustration and stresses of the day all at the same time.

It Is Unique

There is a point of uniqueness about this workout and it is the fact that you literally move into a different zone as you progress through your workout. You will be engrossed in listening to the music to pound the right beat that you won’t even notice how much you are actually exercising during that time. Founders Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom say that there is a trick to it,

One principle, two words: Strategic Distraction

It is in the distraction of the music that you gain the full benefit because you aren’t counting repetitions or counting calories but are focused on the music and the precise timing of your movements throughout the workout. If it is an intense workout you are looking for then give Pound a try. You can regulate the intensity of the workout by simply pounding harder or softer. As you move, you are building up muscle strength, getting your heart rate up and burning calories which are three factors that are essential for losing weight. Add fantastic rhythms and beats and you will be transported into the world of a Rock Star where the gym is your stage.

The Benefits Of Pound

Who would ever have imagined that drumming would give you such an all round workout? You can let go of your inhibitions, you can live out a rock star dream, unleash pent up aggression, develop listening skills and you may even discover a new talent that you never thought you had. Pound can improve your coordination, develop rhythmic skills, and sampling new movements is encouraged as well. As those in the know at Health Magazine say,

Basically, a mash-up of almost every exercise out there: Pilates, isometrics, plyometrics, and even a bit of dance.

More than that, pounding is good for the brain too. Research has shown that drumming is more than just noises made on an instrument. As stated by Barry Bittman, MD, and cancer expert,

Group drumming tunes our biology, orchestrates our immunity, and enables healing to begin.

So there you have it, not only do you get a great workout and stress release but the music and moves are good for you inside and out.