By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Why You May Want To Jump Around
I hope you are holding up as best as you can as you shelter at home. To say we are currently living through some difficult and odd times is an understatement. I live in California, the first state in the U.S. to issue a stay-at-home directive. We have been sheltering in place since March! So I have had to figure out new ways to stay active and sane.
Physical activity like hiking and golf used to be activities I engaged in to stay healthy and sane. I only need one hour of exercise a week to help keep depression away. Physical activity also helps me prevent diabetes by decreasing my body’s resistance to insulin, helps to prevent dementia and aids in heart health.
You may be discouraged right now to get moving. Maybe you don’t have access to a gym, you can’t see a personal trainer and you don’t have workout equipment at home. Furthermore, the couch and snacks feel like it is just "calling your name." Trust me, I have been tempted and had those days. But don’t give in to it. Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on our health. If we ever get sick, we want to be in the best shape possible to combat viruses and other illnesses.
I’ve got the perfect workout for you, and it may even bring back great memories from your childhood. I’m talking about jumping rope.
(Working out while getting some sun is a great way to improve mood and get vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” that may help fight off respiratory infections).
If you don’t have a jump rope or can’t steal one from your kid, there are a variety of ropes you can purchase online. There are weighted ropes if you want more of a challenge. The great thing about these ropes is that you can jump rope at home and they barely take up any storage room.
Jumping rope is a great form of cardio (also called aerobic) exercise, which gets your heart pumping and helps strengthen the heart muscle. Doing cardio may also help lower your blood pressure.
It may look easy, but it’s hard. Really hard! Be gentle with yourself if you are just getting started, and remember you can always work your way up. Try to do a little bit more each time you jump, and take breaks when you need it.
Some professional boxers do as much as 10 to 15 minutes of jump roping a day to increase endurance and improve footwork and rhythm.
And one study involving college men found evidence which showed that jumping rope improved cardiovascular efficiency just as much as jogging did even if the participant didn’t jump as long as someone jogged.
(“The cardiovascular efficiency generally can be referred to as the efficiency with which the human body can distribute blood and oxygen. It is a measure of the performance capacity of circulatory system. It can be generally measured by counting number of beats per minute and calculating the maximum volume of oxygen that is taken by an individual during exercise condition,” according to one source).
The participants of the study were placed into two groups. One group was instructed to jump rope 10 minutes daily for six weeks, and the other group was told to jog 30 minutes daily for 6 weeks.
The results revealed that just 10 minutes of jumping rope improved cardiovascular efficiency just as well as 30 minutes of jogging. So in other words, jumping rope is a very efficient exercise and may give you more bang for your buck.
Jumping rope may be good for your bones and also tones the upper body (not just the legs and lower body).
As we get older we will naturally experience bone loss, so it’s extremely important to help build our bone mass and strength through good nutrition and exercise.
Jumping rope is an exercise particularly good for bone health.
“Anything that has some impact to it or that places a load on your bones will increase their density,” said Michele Olson, an adjunct professor of sports science at Huntingdon College, in this report.
“Jumping rope certainly has that aspect to it.”
And it may not seem like it, but jumping rope is also a good upper body workout.
“It can seem like all the rope spinning is coming from the wrists and hands, but there’s actually an amazing amount of work required from your upper arms and shoulders and back to control and stabilize the rope,” Olson said.
In my opinion, if you are going to workout why not make it a total body workout. Keep in mind that jumping rope is a high impact workout. If you have any existing injuries (maybe bad knees) or health problems such as heart disease, speak with a competent healthcare professional about whether jumping rope is right for you.
As with any physical exercise, it is necessary to stay hydrated and fuel your body properly both before and after you jump rope. Doing this will help you perform well and recover as best as possible afterwards.
Finally,don’t forget to stretch, and jump to it!
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.