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AEROBICS & CARDIO

How To Jump Rope For Health and Fitness

Rope skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise

according to the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine

Council. It is far less hard on the muscles and bones than

jogging.

While running or jogging, each foot absorbs up to 5 times

the body weight from the force of the impact as the foot

hits the ground. This force of hitting the ground can cause

damage to the feet, ankles, hips and knees. But in rope

skipping, the shock of hitting the ground is absorbed by

both feet allowing the calf muscles to control and absorb

the impact.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine,

skipping rope is among the activities it recommends for

aerobic conditioning. In order to improve heart and lung

health, it must be performed 3 to 5 times per week for 12 to

20 minutes an hour, and at an intensity that will get the

heart rate into training range.

To find your training range subtract your age from 220.

Multiply that figure by .9 to get the high range. Multiply

by .6 to get low range. With this formula a person 25 years

old must keep their aerobic heart pulse between 117 and 176

to be gaining benefit. Aerobic benefits do not diminish or

decline with training as in other aerobic activities.

From an energy standpoint, jumping rope at about 130

revolutions per minute is similar to running at 6 miles per

hour or cycling 12 miles per hour. Just 10 minutes of rope

skipping is equivalent to a one-mile run.

When choosing a rope, hold the rope and stand with your feet

on the middle. If the length is correct, the handles should

just reach your armpits. Handles should be thick and

comfortable.

Look for a cushioned surface to jump on. A large

rectangular carpet remnant is ideal. Hard surfaces like

concrete should be avoided.

Choose well-cushioned athletic footwear just as you would

for walking or running.

Start slow by gradually increasing session time over 2 to 3

weeks to let your leg muscles get accustomed to the extra

exercise.

Many adults give up rope jumping because they are

uncoordinated and miss too many steps. But this improves

with time and practice.

More information on jump ropes may be found at:

http://www.apluswriting.net/diettips/fitnessequipment.htm

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