It’s no secret that we love swimming around here. Is it really working out when you are doing what you love? (Spoiler: YES). We believe that you can have both, an effective workout that you, in fact, love. So we’d like to veer out of our lane a little and talk about another way you can add fun to your workout.
It’s pretty clear that jumping rope can provide a fun, effective cardio workout. Try jumping rope for ten minutes … it can feel like 30! And we all know the proven benefits of getting your heart rate up for an extended period every day (improved cardiovascular fitness, plus a mood lift and so much more). But let’s talk about some of the lesser known benefits when it comes to jumping rope. (Besides the ear-worm rhymes that come with it!)
Benefits of Jumping Rope
Here’s what’s happening to your body while you are jumping rope. Much like swimming, this exercise requires a synchronized effort involving both upper and lower body movements. Your arms rotate the rope while your legs are constantly moving through landing and take-off. Now it gets tricky. In order to jump rope without falling on your face, your body has to re-establish balance and lift-off force in the previously mentioned synchronized effort.
So it would make sense that the first lesser known benefit is that including jumping rope as part of a regular training program can improve motor coordination and balance by as much as 10%, as well as improving joint repositioning. (Based on multiple studies conducted on young athletes). Another study of elite track athletes found that using jump rope as a warm-up increased performance levels in other (horizontal) jumping tasks. Either way, dust off those rhymes and start skipping for a positive increase in balance and overall motor skills.
The other surprising benefit of jumping rope has clear ramifications for younger women as they start to age. Because jumping rope is a weight bearing exercise, it means you are increasing the load on your bones. The good news? The more you increase weight bearing exercise, the more you increase your bone mass – meaning you can help increase bone density and prevent degenerative bone disease like osteoporosis. In fact, Japanese researchers found that incorporating a high impact jump routine increased bone mass density at specific sites in young woman around the age of 30. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your balance, and it’s good for your bones.
Like any exercise program, the only potential negative inherent in jump roping is overuse. Any activity that gets overdone puts you at risk for injury. Exercise common sense and jumping rope offers a ton of benefits for beginning athletes all the way up to elite performers. Bottom line? Working out IS fun, whether in the water or skipping rope to the tune of your childhood.
Share the Love
Maybe you’ve fallen in love with an exercise like swimming? How about sharing the love? When you donate to One with the Water, you help us serve the community with swim lessons for low income families and children with special needs. Be a hero TODAY and help reduce the risk of drowning for children by up to 88%!
Molly is a member of our creative team, mom of four water-loving babies, and a fierce advocate for CPR training and really early swim instruction.