It’s the quintessential cardiovascular exercise and what most of us think of when trying to get fit or lose weight: jogging. While nobody would argue that an hour long run in the morning is useless, there’s one obvious drawback – it takes an hour to do! Many people dread the idea of jogging simply because it’s so time consuming. If you’re one of these people, you can unlace your running shoes and relax. There’s a smart way to get exactly the same benefits of jogging, but in much less time.
Jump rope and save time
For a person who weighs around 130 lbs., jogging at a moderate 5 mph pace for 30 minutes burns around 150 calories. But spend just 10 minutes jumping rope vigorously, and you burn almost as many calories, and with 20 minutes to spare. This means that if you’re desperate to squeeze in some physical activity each day but simply don’t have the time, you can still manage a good workout by simply jumping rope.
See also: Why Regular Exercise in Retirement is Necessary.
What’s more, a study led by John A. Baker at Arizona State University and published in The Research Quarterly showed that a daily 10-minute skipping session gives the same cardiovascular benefits as a 30-minute session of jogging. Perhaps best of all, a good rope will cost you less than $10 (far cheaper than a pair of running shoes) and you can skip indoors, in private, no matter the weather.
It really is child’s play. When buying, ensure that you’re getting a full, adult size rope and not one intended for children. Make sure that the rope can swivel easily within the handles and that the grips are comfortable. Watch out, too, for cheaply made plastic ropes that will warp and twist when stored.
You can skip any time of day and anywhere you can find the space, but be prepared to sweat. Skip as briskly as you possibly can, focusing carefully on each skip so that you don’t lose concentration and miss a beat. Keep your breathing deep and even to prevent stitches or cramping. You might like to set a timer or simply go for as long as you can manage. Once you’ve mastered basic skipping, have some fun with crossovers or even skipping backwards – this boosts your caloric burn and increases the mental challenge.
Jogging is a great cardiovascular exercise and will strengthen your heart, burn calories and improve circulation. But don’t write off cardio if you simply don’t have the time to jog. Instead, rummage through the toy chest for a skipping rope and in ten minutes you will have enjoyed a workout that’s just as good as a full run – and probably a lot more fun.