Outdoor Jump Roping for Cardio Fitness

by Kimberly Hays | September 5th, 2013 | Cardio

ropeWith the weather being nice outdoors right now, why would you want to be cooped up in the gym to get your cardio exercise? Jumping rope can be a pretty mundane exercise inside, but getting outside makes it a lot more fun. You will have room to move around, get fresh air, and enjoy your surroundings. Jumping rope is also a great workout where you can get a full body workout in about 15 minutes while knocking out your cardio routine at the same time.

Choosing a Jump Rope – Jump ropes are very inexpensive, and they are compact enough that you can carry them anywhere, even while traveling. You will want to buy the correct length and that is easy to figure out with the following formula. Holding the handles of the jump rope in your hands, place the rope on the ground and step on the rope with your feet centered in the middle of the rope. Lifting the handles up, the perfect length will be when they reach to your arm pits.

Jump Rope Shoes – Many websites state that you should buy a specific shoe for jump roping, but that is not necessarily true. Any type of sport shoes you own are sufficient without going out to buy cross-trainers or another specific type. There are lots of items for sale for jump roping like special clothing, and even special mats, but the truth is, you do not need it. Just go with what you have and get out there! Of course, if those things will give you more confidence, then by all means buy them.

How to Do It – One of the best parts of jumping rope outdoors is that you do not have to worry about height restrictions for clearance as you jump. You will need a flat surface, though, and should avoid slippery areas. After stretching a little before beginning, start jumping slowly, and then increase your pace until you find your rhythm. Keep your eyes forward while taking in the outdoor surroundings, and be sure to keep your hands down. You want to turn the rope with your hands and not your arms. You will also want to keep your body low to the ground while jumping instead of taking big jumps. Also, add some different movements while jumping like jumping on one foot and then alternating to the other.

What You Gain and Lose – In the 15 minutes of jumping you will burn about 200 calories, so jumping rope is fantastic for those who are also trying to lose a few pounds. To make a comparison, you would have to run an eight minute mile to achieve the same result. What you will gain is a total cardio workout in a short amount of time while enjoying the outdoors where it feels more like play than a workout.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.