Let’s face it, getting in shape—especially in the winter—isn’t easy. Enter the jump rope—yes, that activity you used to do as a child. Turns out jump rope is one of the most effective overall body workouts for any age level, according to Janine Delaney, PhD of Psychology and fitness expert, also known as the #jumpropequeen. She says: “It provides a great workout, can be done from anywhere and is a lot of fun.” Plus, says Delaney, jump rope burns more calories than biking, swimming and even running—up to 700 calories per hour.
Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist, Demetris Delos, MD of ONS (Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists) says jumping rope is a full-body workout with less stress on joints than running. “It can generate significant changes in cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone and overall conditioning.” He recommends starting with a three- to 5-minute session and building up the coordination and endurance needed to increase to 10 to 15 minutes per session. “Like anything else, once you develop a habit, this can be an easy addition to your workout schedule that can be maintained over time,” says Dr. Delos.
So we decided to give it a try. Delaney created a program for Serendipity’s Editor Lisa Kennedy, using Janine Jump Rope Set. “Due to my busy lifestyle, I haven’t been able to find a workout routine that I can stick with,” says Kennedy, who was up for the challenge. Her first thought after starting the program? It wasn’t as easy as she initially thought. “I haven’t jumped rope since I was a kid; the hardest part was just committing to doing it—blocking off the time and consistently doing the reps.” However, once she got started, she saw results quickly. “By week two I noticed my stomach felt tighter, I felt both my arms and legs getting a workout and my mind felt clearer.” She started working it into her morning routine, jumping rope 10-15 minutes before work almost every day. “Nothing else I’ve done has produced the same results, so quickly.”
And Kennedy plans on sticking with the program. “The fact that I can do it at home—I don’t need to go to the gym or take a class—makes it worthwhile. Plus, it’s so portable, so I can travel with it. It gives me no excuses. Even I can find 10 minutes to do this.”
Trying It At Home
Want to incorporate jump rope into your routine for 2019, but need a little nudge? We talked to Delaney on how small changes (like jumping rope) can make a big difference in your mental and physical health:
What makes jump rope such a great exercise for people in general, but especially those over 40?
As we get older it gets harder to lose extra weight in those tough areas like our belly and arms. You might not think so, but jumping rope hits those areas while developing overall body strength. Also, jump rope improves your mood and mental clarity. As we get older, we tend to lose focus and often experience feelings of being overwhelmed. Jumping rope helps to train our brain into focusing on the present and helps us see things more clearly in all aspects of our day-to-day lives. It releases natural endorphins that allow us to feel our best—not unlike a “runner’s high.”
How do you create an individual jump rope program?
I can create a plan for anyone at any level of intensity. It’s really up to the individual—what are your long and short term goals, health and physical conditions, etc. What makes jump rope so great is that you can do it anywhere, anytime, at any age. Perfect for indoor or home workout.
What can people expect?
The first few days you can expect to feel a little sore until your body acclimates. After that you will see increased energy levels and metabolism. And my hope is that you’ll push yourself harder, jump a little longer or faster—whatever feels right for you. The human body becomes conditioned to routine movements so the muscle groups don’t have to work as hard. Mixing it up with a weighted rope or intensity will keep your body guessing and working harder.
What’s the goal?
Aim for three times per week. Some people have an hour to devote to exercise each day, some only have 20 minutes. No matter how busy you are in your day-to-day, jumping rope is one of those exercises that yields results even if time is scarce. The other beauty of jumping rope is that you can literally do it anywhere. You’re not committed to a gym or class to get your workout in. So if you travel for work or the commute to the gym is extra daunting you can do this at your home or in your hotel.
Would any jump rope work or does it have to be a specific type?
The quality of the rope is important as it’s easier to jump with a rope that does not kink up. There are also weighted ropes, which, as you can guess, will build up arm muscle definition and keep you tone. A good option is Crossrope.
Talk about how small changes (like jumping rope) can make a big difference
Small changes lead to bigger changes and then, hopefully it becomes a lifestyle. Just by choosing to jump rope you are on your way to a more active lifestyle which will lead to those ‘happy’ endorphins. And happiness is contagious, you’ll seek out and make time for the activities that spark those feelings. A slimmer waste line and toned arms are a happy byproduct of jumping rope, however it’s the positive shift in your mentality that is the real success to me.
See Janine Delaney’s jump rope basics in the video below.