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How To Jump Rope For Health and Fitness

Rope skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exerciseaccording to the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports MedicineCouncil. It is far less hard on the muscles and bones thanjogging.

While running or jogging, each foot absorbs up to 5 timesthe body weight from the force of the impact as the foothits the ground. This force of hitting the ground can causedamage to the feet, ankles, hips and knees. But in ropeskipping, the shock of hitting the ground is absorbed byboth feet allowing the calf muscles to control and absorbthe impact.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine,skipping rope is among the activities it recommends foraerobic conditioning. In order to improve heart and lunghealth, it must be performed 3 to 5 times per week for 12 to20 minutes an hour, and at an intensity that will get theheart rate into training range.

To find your training range subtract your age from 220.Multiply that figure by .9 to get the high range. Multiplyby .6 to get low range. With this formula a person 25 yearsold must keep their aerobic heart pulse between 117 and 176to be gaining benefit. Aerobic benefits do not diminish ordecline with training as in other aerobic activities.

From an energy standpoint, jumping rope at about 130revolutions per minute is similar to running at 6 miles perhour or cycling 12 miles per hour. Just 10 minutes of ropeskipping is equivalent to a one-mile run.

When choosing a rope, hold the rope and stand with your feeton the middle. If the length is correct, the handles shouldjust reach your armpits. Handles should be thick andcomfortable.

Look for a cushioned surface to jump on. A largerectangular carpet remnant is ideal. Hard surfaces likeconcrete should be avoided.

Choose well-cushioned athletic footwear just as you wouldfor walking or running.

Start slow by gradually increasing session time over 2 to 3weeks to let your leg muscles get accustomed to the extraexercise.

Many adults give up rope jumping because they areuncoordinated and miss too many steps. But this improveswith time and practice.

More information on jump ropes may be found at:


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