Jump rope your way to fitness

One of the first exercises most people learn as children is jumping rope.
Turns out, it’s an activity that can serve people well throughout most of their lives, too.
If you’re fit enough to jump up and down more than a few times, you should be OK to try jumping rope again.

Bruce Lee was once quoted saying that 10 minutes of jumping rope is as good for you as 30 minutes of running. I’m not sure if that’s been actually proven true, but in this fast-paced world most people would give jumping rope a try based on that advice alone.

Jumping rope will rev up your heart rate very quickly. In 10 or 15 minutes you can burn 200 calories or more depending on the speed you jump at and your body weight.

Some of you may have thought right away upon reading this that jumping rope would be too hard on your body.

However, many trainers I’ve talked to say running is actually considerably harder on the hips, knees and joints. When jumping rope the exertion is better cushioned because you land on the balls of your feet and the calves and shins act as shock absorbers. When jumping rope wear basketball shoes or supportive cross trainers if possible to provide better support than specialized running shoes.

However, before beginning a new jump rope program, consult a doctor or trainer if you’ve been inactive. As with any new training method, start slowly and gradually train harder.

So get out the jump rope, or go buy one and get going on your way to a great aerobic workout. And remember one more thing, jumping rope is a lot of fun!

On Tuesday, I’ll offer tips on setting up a jump rope program.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com