No Spin Here! Learn to Jump Rope and Fitness Is at Your Feet
You don't have to be a boxer or a 10-year-old to fall in love with jumping rope. Three people I know, who don't know each other, told me recently they're jumping rope for fitness and they can't get over how much they like it.
Yes! Dear Readers, learn by example. Jumping rope -- as little as 10 minutes a day -- gives you a great cardiovascular workout in a breathlessly brief amount of time. It's perfect for the busy executive, the even busier stay-at-home parent, and kids are natural-born rope jumpers, but sadly, it's not encouraged.
You've seen a jump rope, right? It weighs less that most breakfast bagels. You can take it anywhere and do it anytime. And except for the shoes -- cross-trainers are recommended -- you don't need special equipment or any clothing made of spandex.
"I take my rope to work with me," says my friend Electra, who discovered the joys of jumping about 15 pounds ago. "In between meetings or after a long time on the computer, I'll just get up, change my shoes and start jumping."
Electra had to exercise all her patience to learn. She jumped too high, kept looking down instead of straight ahead, and it took a while to get the hang of taking off and landing gently on the balls of her feet.
"I'm a natural-born klutz," Electra confides, "so for the first two weeks, I practiced in the bathroom with the door closed."
Once she got the swing of it, she started jumping in front of her family -- going beyond the Basic Bounce into the Alternate Foot Bounce, the Side-Straddle, the Half-Twister and the Skier's Jump.
And now her husband's jumping, too, and they're both feeling stronger, lighter, calmer. And Electra is convinced her rope jumping routine is the reason she doesn't have back pain anymore.
I'm not making any promises, but as your most personal trainer, I urge you to give it a spin:
FANTASTIC BENEFITS. Rope jumping is one of the quickest and best ways to build strength, agility, quickness and balance. Research shows that 5 minutes a day will improve your overall physical fitness, and when you build up to 10 minutes a day of nonstop jumping (at 120 revolutions-per-minute), it's equal to 30 minutes of jogging, two sets of tennis or 720 yards of swimming.