Edit ModuleShow Tags

Fun Moves

Jump Roping for Every Age



Jumping rope has come a long way from playground days. While many still jump for fun, young and older fans alike have made it an international sport, boasting its own world championship. The childhood pastime has remained a popular form of exercise for athletes and fitness buffs.

The American Heart Association attests that jumping rope proves an excellent exercise for cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance. It helps develop agility, balance, posture, reflexes and coordination, as well as building or maintaining healthy bones. Now, researchers are learning that jumping rope may also help prepare the brain for learning by raising the heart rate, which pumps more blood to the brain, feeding it needed nutrients and oxygen for heightened alertness and mental focus.

In the United States, the sport’s main coordinating organization is USA Jump Rope (USAJR), a nonprofit group comprising hundreds of jump roping teams and jumpers across the country. Teams attend workshops and training camps; perform for the public; and compete in tournaments at state, regional and national levels.

John Fletcher, USAJR’s operations manager, says that jumping rope is far more than recreation; it supports a healthy lifestyle for people of all ages. USAJR has enthusiastic jumpers ranging in age from 6 to 50. All age groups regularly compete in single-rope and Double Dutch competitions, including speed and freestyle categories. In the United States, the female record in the single-rope speed competition is 367 jumps in one minute. The comparable male single-rope record is 359. The Double Dutch pairs speed record clocked in at 879 jumps a minute.

“Rope jumping is attractive to such a wide range of individuals because of its numerous benefits,” remarks Fletcher. “It is convenient, inexpensive, easy to learn and works the entire body; plus, it’s fun.”

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) names rope jumping as one of the best forms of aerobic exercise. They explain that aerobic exercise enables our bodies to take in more oxygen so that we can breathe faster and more deeply, maximizing oxygen entering the bloodstream. That’s good for the heart, blood vessels, immune system, lungs and joints. More, it cuts through stress and lifts our mood.

In order to improve heart and lung health, jumping must be performed three to five times per week for 12 to 20 minutes at a stretch. The ACSM recommends trying 130 revolutions per minute, which is equal to running at 6 miles per hour or cycling at 12 miles per hour. Just 10 minutes of rope skipping is equivalent to a one-mile run.

René Bibaud is a five-time world rope jumping champion, artist and coach for Cirque de Soleil, the voice of ESPN for national jump rope championships and creator of Ropeworks, a company devoted to teaching jumping for fun and fitness. For those just getting started, Bibaud advises that finding a rope that fits is key. She recommends a dense, plastic rope, which should cost less than $10.

To make sure a rope fits, she counsels, stand on it with both feet and pull the sides up tightly next to the body in a U-shape. The top of the handles should come to the underarms.

Also invest in a good pair of athletic shoes, preferably a cross-training model, with extra support for the ball of the foot. This helps prevent excessive strain on the joints from rope jumping’s repetitive movements. Avoid jumping on hard surfaces, such as concrete or tile. Safe surfaces include a wood floor, rubber mat or sprung floor, such as those found in dance studios, which is designed to absorb shock.

Bibaud encourages newcomers to learn a few basic moves, followed by a few jump rope tricks. She grins: “The goal of learning new moves will entice you back for more.”

For more information, visit www.USAJumpRope.org, www.ACSM.org
or
www.JumpRopeNet.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Features

DIGITAL KIDS: How to Click With Young Techies

DIGITAL KIDS: How to Click With Young Techies

Many Silicon Valley executives that design devices and apps have put their own children in tech-free Waldorf schools, reports The New York Times; even Bill Gates and Steve Jobs strictly limited their kids’ screen time.
PET PEEVE

PET PEEVE

Natural Remedies for Allergies to Furry Friends
Jessica Martinez, a medical assistant and part-time dog groomer in Rockford, Illinois, was growing her family—a husband, two daughters and a young beloved husky.
FAIRY MAGIC

FAIRY MAGIC

Feeling Their Touch in Nature
The Power of Yoga

The Power of Yoga

Tapping Into the Life Force
Longevity is something most of us strive for, and increasingly, research shows that implementing a consistent yoga practice can be a fruitful investment toward that goal.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Editor's Picks

Spring’s In Full Swing at  Hilltop Hanover Farm

Spring’s In Full Swing at Hilltop Hanover Farm

Learn how to grown your own food or reserve an organic CSA.
Natural Fertility

Natural Fertility

Whole-Body Wellness with an Integrative Approach
Stay Healthy This Winter:  Tips from Local Wellness Experts

Stay Healthy This Winter: Tips from Local Wellness Experts

Integrative Medicine, Homeopathy and Ayurveda wisdom from Westchester, NY professionals
Four Ways to Light(en) Up Your Life

Four Ways to Light(en) Up Your Life

In an increasingly unpredictable world where anxiety and insecurity abound, where can we turn to find peace and happiness?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Global Briefs

Join in a Climate Strike Event

Join in a Climate Strike Event

Sustainable Scrubbing

Sustainable Scrubbing

Tips for Toxin-Free House Cleaning
Cetacean Liberation

Cetacean Liberation

Canada Bans Captive Sea Mammals
Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Climate Changes Upend Farming
Cola Quandary

Cola Quandary

Companies Urge Vietnam Recycling Plans
 Whale Wipe-Out

Whale Wipe-Out

Record Numbers Starving to Death
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Health Briefs

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Spotlight

Join in a Climate Strike Event

Join in a Climate Strike Event

People have been conducting strikes as a method of demanding change for many years.
Local Natural Awakenings Magazines
Natural Health Magazine Franchise

Marketplace

Advertisement