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Looking for a Fun Workout? Try Jumping Rope

By Paul Rothbart

Jumping rope was a popular activity in my Brooklyn neighborhood when I was growing up. Boys generally didn't participate. We were a lot less enlightened then. It's too bad, because in addition to being fun, jumping rope is excellent exercise. Boxers have included it in fight training for decades. If you're looking for something different from weights, running, or swimming, jumping rope may be the answer. Here are some of its benefits.

Burns Calories

Burning calories is usually one of the most important goals of exercise and jumping rope does that like a champ. A 15-minute session can burn 200-300 calories. That is as much as a 30 minute jog. Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels said, "It burns more calories than any steady state cardio, from rowing to jogging to cycling and swimming." Jumping rope involves most of the body's major muscle groups. It is a thermogenic exercise, which means it produces a lot of heat. This requires a lot of fuel to create the energy and that means more calories burned. 

Improves Coordination

If you've ever tried to jump rope, you know it's not that easy for a beginner. It requires timing and coordination between different body parts. Jumps must be timed to when the rope passes below the feet. The wrists must turn in a steady rhythm. There are a number of advanced moves that require even better coordination. It's a great way to build up body skills over time. A 2017 study of autistic children, a group that often has trouble with balance and coordination, found that motor coordination was significantly improved by jumping rope.

Improves Circulatory Health

Jumping rope increases respiration and heart rate. The heart is a muscle and working it out strengthens it. VO2 Max, the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during exercise, increases from jumping rope. This improves the efficiency of the circulatory system and increases endurance. It's also very good for people at risk for cardiovascular disease. A study conducted in 2018 in Europe involving teen girls with prehypertension found that 12 weeks of a jump rope routine lowered their body fat, abdominal fat, and blood pressure. All of these factors improve heart health.

Improves Bone Density

Strong bones are vital to a healthy body. Higher bone density reduces risk of fractures, breaks, and osteoporosis. Several studies have found that people who jump rope had higher bone density than those who didn't. The impact of landing on each jump puts enough stress on the bones that the body reacts by making them more dense, and thus stronger.

Variety in exercise programs is always a good thing. It keeps us from getting bored and works different parts of the body. Adding jumping rope to your exercise program has many health benefits and is a lot of fun. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Logan, Utah

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