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Skip your way to good health

05 October, 2014

Skipping may have a reputation for the playground and kids alone, but this frequently undervalued exercise is a great aerobic workout that is easy, cheap and uses up more calories than running alone!

There are many ways to skip. You can choose a steady pace with low-to-moderate intensity, or you can try interspersing your pace with short intervals of high intensity skipping – this is also a great idea for upping your energy output. It’s a great workout for your whole body, as it helps you coordinate your upper and lower halves, improves agility and tones your arms, legs and core. So, what are the most measurable benefits of skipping for exercise?

 Lose weight

Research on successful, long-term weight loss has shown that people can achieve the best results by employing a combination of dietary and exercise changes. Skipping for just half an hour each day burns approximately 300 calories. If this is combined with a healthy diet with a sufficient (but not excessive) calorie deficit, you can easily achieve steady, sustainable weight loss.

Increase cardio

This benefit is especially true if you utilise interval training. Your cardiovascular system consists of your heart and all of the arteries and veins that pump blood and oxygen to and from it. While exercise such as weight training has been shown to increase muscle, aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling and skipping is of great benefit to your cardiovascular system. This also means more energy in your day-to-day life and less breathlessness during exercise.

Tone your muscles

This part is especially noticeable in your legs and lower half. It’s normal to feel a little sore in the first few days of skipping – particularly if you’re new to exercise! Don’t worry, though, this just means your muscles are repairing themselves after all your hard work, and will end up being bigger, stronger and more toned for your trouble.

Just remember, the best way to skip is two to three inches off the ground, and only the balls of your feet should touch the ground in between. Make sure the rope only has enough room to just slip under, keep your elbows close to your sides and turn from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders. If you find that you get tired very easily, try dropping the rope, but keeping your arms and legs moving. You can gradually build up your endurance until you’re using the rope fulltime.

Some of the biggest appeals of skipping are how easy and affordable it is. So don’t waste any more time – invest in a low-cost, lightweight rope (or pay a few more dollars if you’re really serious) and start skipping your way to great health!

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