We know that exercise is important for our health. That’s seriously no surprise at all…
But can exercise also be fun and joyful? Is that too much to ask?
Of course it can! It’s all about choosing the right workout for you. You deserve to enjoy whatever form of mindful movement you choose.
Which is why I wanted to cover one option that’s seriously so fun! And such a great form of exercise!
A jump rope workout is fantastic cardio and has a serious ton of health benefits. Plus, for many of us, it’s a fun activity from childhood! So there’s joy and nostalgia to be had too.
If you’re loking for a fantastic way to exercise – look no further, because a jump rope workout is amazing! Let’s talk about it.
6 Marvelous Reasons To Try A Jump Rope Workout
If your childhood was anything like mine, you probably spent a lot of time running around with a jump rope! It was such a great way to play. And, my favourite part, it was a wonderful way to pass the time solo and with a group of friends. We’re talking double dutch baby!
But somehow that all fell to the way side when I grew up. And I imagine I’m not alone! But it turns out that skipping is more than just a fun game to play as a kid… it’s actually a really powerful (and still really freaking fun) way to exercise.
Here’s why you and I should totally start doing a jump rope workout:
1. It’s Not Just For Kids
We tend to associate jumping rope with our childhoods, but this handy little exercise is awesome for everyone! And it’s no surprise. It turns out a lot of activities from our childhoods are actually really good for our mental and physical well being. Heck, there were even jump rope athletes in the 2016 Olympics! So we know we’re talking serious business.
And hey, adults deserve to have fun too! Even when we’re exercising. Especially when we’re exercising! I think one of the main reasons why we exercise less as grown ups than we did as children is because it often stops being fun and games and starts being work. And who wants more work on their plate? Not me! So why not explore some more fun options!
But what’s in it for you, other than some childhood nostalgia and tons of fun?
2. A Jump Rope Workout is Amazing Cardio
I’m pretty sure that I don’t need to tell you how important it is that we take care of our beautiful hearts. They play a pretty big role in keeping us alive after all. And one way we can easily take great care of them is by choosing heart healthy exercises.
When you make time for aerobics, like a jump rope workout, your whole body is involved. You’re moving your arms and your legs and using all of your large muscles. What happens next? We need to breathe deeper and our hearts start pumping faster.
Our bodies do this to maximize the oxygen in our blood, which in turn delivers more oxygen goodness to our muscles. Super bonus, this also helps our cardiovascular system get rid of waste like carbon dioxide and lactic acid (source). Lactic acid can trigger muscle cramps, so we definitely don’t want to let that stuff build up.
How does this help your heart?
Just like any other muscle, this speed boost gives your heart a great workout. And, in the end, you end up with a stronger blood pumper. While it may seem paradoxical, exercises that speed up that gorgeous heart of yours actually help to give you a slower regular heart rate. Because stronger hearts don’t need to beat as fast. They pump more efficiently and you, my friend, end up with better blood flow!
But the heart healthy goodness doesn’t stop there.
Any regular cardio (including jumping rope) also helps to boost good cholesterol, which may lead to less plaque build up in our fantastical arteries! Score! As if that weren’t superb enough, this might also help to lower our blood pressure and control our blood sugar (source 1, source 2). Who knew jumping around and reminiscing on childhood games could be so good for us?
A Note For My Fellow Graves Disease Warriors (Or Anyone With an Illness that Affects Your Heart)
Nothing gets your heart pumping quite as quickly and efficiently as a jump rope workout. And while we already know that that can be really awesome for our heart health, that might not be the case for everyone.
If your heart is affected by an illness (like Graves Disease) it’s really important that you talk to your doctor or health care provider before you start any cardio or intense workout plan. Our goal is to keep our hearts healthy and happy, not put extra stress on an already stressed out organ. It’s best to exercise (pun intended ^^) caution.
3. Your Bones Will Benefit Too
We’re always thinking about how our workouts affect our muscles, but what about our bones? The exercises you choose can actually help to build and maintain healthy bones! And skipping is pretty high up on the list of awesome, bone health supporting options. Mind blowing, right?
How does a jump rope workout help to support your bone health?
When you’re skipping you’re actually doing a high impact, weight-bearing exercise. You’re working against gravity, staying upright and moving your whole bod. This helps to build up your bone density and keep them super strong! It’s even a recommended exercise for Osteoporosis patients who aren’t at risk of fractures (please speak with your doctor before starting a high impact exercise program if you have Osteoporosis).
In fact, studies show that exercises like this that help to support bone density can actually improve bone strength and endurance and even reduce bone loss and back pain (source). There’s some evidence that it can help to prevent menopause related bone loss too! Booyah!
4. But Wait, There’s More Health Benefits of Jumping Rope
As if a healthy heart and strong bones weren’t enough of a motivator, there’s more goodness to be had! Skipping regularly can help to improve your balance, coordination and flexibility. It’s much kinder to your joints than running. And it’s a simple full body workout, which means it can help to improve your overall muscle tone. Holla!
5. It’s Super Easy and Inexpensive
A lot of us can’t afford a gym membership (holy expensive fees batman!) But jump ropes are pretty cheap and once you’ve invested in one, you’re pretty well set. Not to mention, you don’t exactly need a lot of space, and you can easily take your jump rope with you anywhere.
In the mood for an outdoor work out – your jump rope is totally game! Feeling like blasting your favourite music while you try to master a triple jump – you can easily make that happen!
And while it may be a little intimidating to try a new exercise, skipping is great for anyone, regardless of skill level. You might even forget that you’re actually working out!
Try starting off small and working your way up.
A 10 minute workout with a jump rope can go a long way (but don’t forget to give yourself breaks when you need them).
6. It Makes You Feel Damn Good
The best part? Exercise makes us feel freaking awesome! It’s funny how many of us habitually avoid working out, because it can seriously make us feel damn good.
In general, regular exercise has been shown to positively affect your mood and reduce stress (source). One of the awesome ways that it does this is by boosting the production of feel good endorphins, which make us feel more positive and reduce pain perception! So cool, right?! (source)
If that wasn’t already amazing enough, it also increases your brain’s sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine, two hormones that help to relieve depression! Booya! (source)
And if you suffer from depression or anxiety, exercise can be a major help!
Take a look at this super cool study, which looked at the effects of exercise on anxiety. When people exercised on the regular they saw an improvement in their anxiety symptoms, which is truly a wonderful gift.
But one of the best benefits of regular exercise was that it also allowed them to be more aware of their mental state and distracted them from their fears. Boom, take that anxiety!
And when we peek in at the benefits of exercise for depression we see some promising results too! This study showed a significant improvement in mood following regular exercise.
Isn’t it wonderful how finding a way to mindfully move can do us so much good?
Exercise is awesome, but the key is that we need to choose forms of movement that we truly enjoy! Those are the workouts we stick to. The fun activities we love to do again and again.
And if you have fond memories of skipping as a child, then a jump rope might be a fantastic options for you. Put on your favourite tunes, boost out your jump rope and have fun!
Do you like to skip? Eager to give a jump rope workout a try? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: The exercise you choose should be something you enjoy.
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