If you think there’s an age at which you’re supposed to toss your jump rope aside, you’re misguided. Jumping rope will continue to benefit your cardiovascular system and brain for as long as you have them. And I’m willing to bet you fit this description, right?! So if you’ve been longing to jump some rope ever since you left it behind in elementary school, follow your instincts.
That’s exactly what I’m doing this month for my next health resolution. I remember being almost as fond of jumping rope as I was of swinging (another childhood activity everyone should revisit), so I know this is something I can stick with—making it yet another better resolution for 2016.
If you search the web, you’ll discover a number of ways to get back into jumping rope: you can pick the 30-day “1000 Skips Challenge,” which builds on the number of skips you do each day, or a 30-day challenge that instead builds on the amount of time you skip each day. Or you can be casual and just go out and jump.
However you do it, your heart will thank you. But it doesn’t stop there—jumping rope also offers the following health benefits:
- Increased brain function: Exercise that’s demanding both physically and mentally offers up a bonus advantage for your brain’s well-being. Jump rope for a clearer head.
- Improved coordination: Jumping rope is one way boxers improve their footwork before stepping into the ring. As we move through our day, coordination is a pretty important skill for the rest of us too—you don’t have to be training to become the next heavyweight champ to profit from improved coordination.
- Strengthened bone density: The simple act of jumping up and down is a great way to strengthen your bones. As long as they’re healthy to begin with, jumping rope will only make them more dense. Plus, you don’t need to jump for hours on end to reap the rewards.
Getting started is easy. Jump ropes are inexpensive and portable. A basic rope can be purchased for less than $10, and you can roll it up to fit in any bag you’re packing.
As you can see, there’s no reason to give up jumping rope. People of all ages can bring this uncomplicated activity back into their fitness routine and reap the advantages—for the heart and beyond.
Not sure what size jump rope to pick up? This video should help you figure it out.
Want to know more about keeping your heart healthy? A great starting point is “How to Prevent Heart Attacks” by Benjamin P. Sandler, MD—just one of many fascinating articles you can read for free at the SRP Historical Archives.
Photo from iStock/Antonio_Diaz