Friday 20 September 2019

Daily photo - 20: Benefits of jumping with a skipping rope

You coule burn 1600 calories an hour with this bit of rope
Skipping is something that I have done on-off since I was a teenager. This activity has many benefits.
  • Helps boost your immune system
  • Balances your metabolism
  • Improves tendons and ligaments around your calf muscles
  • Good for mood and mental health
  • Improves coordination and stamina
  • A one-hour session can burn up to 1600 calories! (Bear in mind the average daily calorific intake is 2000 calories)
As a child my regular routine had been to come home from school and change straight from my uniform into my sports kit.

I would then run one mile on a country lane near my home and then once I had finished my run I would pick up my skipping rope and do 60 turns of the rope in the driveway. That was my routine every day without fail.

At that time I suffered from asthma, and I worked out that if I did this activity every day it would stave off my breathing difficulties. If I missed a day I would feel my chest tightening, so it was important to run and skip every day, so it was handy that I enjoyed doing it.

Sixty turns was the number I used because that was the standard set by the Brownies if you wanted to get your Agility badge. I then moved on to 100 skips and included turning the rope backwards. I would only do it for about 10 minutes, but I definitely got a rush of endorphins.

When I first moved to France I didn't have the money to join a gym so I just paid five Francs for a "corde à sauter" and that was my main way of keeping fit - 15 minutes' skipping in the courtyard every morning, much to the bemusement of the residents.

It made me pretty toned and fit, and I remember colleagues being rather surprised when I said that I never went to any gym and just did skipping. So it is something that I still like to do now, and fit it around other sporting activities.

These days I don't skip every day, and being older I avoid skipping first thing in the morning as I don't think high intensity is good on the heart first thing in the day.
My routine tends to be a one-mile warm-up, then a set that consists of 100 turns followed by 300m-jog, and repeat it four or five times.

I vary the steps, doing normal jumps, heel and toe steps, jumping from side to side, hops, high knee jumps, crossing legs, and if I'm feeling energetic peps - turning the rope double quick. After all these years I still haven't mastered crossed arms. The last time I tried it was in 1992 and I ended up in crutches after landing on my ankle. So I have a bit of a phobia to that one.

But that aside, I enjoy a good old skip. It's a great work-out, it puts a good spring in my step when running too so I run more efficiently than if I didn't skip. It keeps my legs in shape too, so I can't complain.

Apparently there is a British Rope Skipping Association where you can find out more about the benefits of skipping and skipping rope training.

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