Everyone needs some kind of exercise today, and that does not exclude women. The women who cannot get enough physical exercise on a day to day basis often look for simple exercises that can keep them fit and fine. Rope Skipping is one such simple, forgotten means of exercise that can fulfill that need. Just think why jump rope is still found in almost every gym today. That’s because rope skipping for just 10 minutes a day is enough to start seeing health benefits that help in many ways in long term.
Rope Skipping Exercises
Firstly, it’s important that you choose a good quality beaded rope, as it will hold its shape and is easier to control when compared to a lightweight cloth or vinyl rope. Also make sure that it is adjustable for your height, and easy to turn. In a standard length rope, when you stand on the center of the rope, the tip of the handles should reach your shoulders.
Next, it is important that you jump properly. Beginners should not jump more than one inch off the floor, and if you haven’t jumped rope since your childhood, you got to start it slow and get into rhythm gradually. Once you get comfortable jumping repeatedly on two feet, you can vary the pace and rhythm, and also add variations to your exercise. According to your convenience, you can try one-foot jumps, two feet jumps, alternating jumps, front straddles, side straddles, double under, the skier, the arms cross, and running in place! To be able to jump for longer periods, you can alternate the rope jumping with lower intensity exercises like marching.
Benefits in Women
Rope Jumping is a great calorie-burning exercise and a good cardiovascular system (intake and outdone of oxygen). Doing this aerobic exercise for 15–20 minutes can burn off the calories from a candy bar. Rope skipping is small, simple, inexpensive, portable, convenient and fits anywhere. This fun exercise is a full body workout – it works on your legs, abs, arms, heart and mind, thereby increasing your strength, agility, body awareness and rhythm. Ten minutes of jumping rope can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Rope skipping, if done properly, is a lower-impact activity than jogging that relieves tension and stress and helps in losing weight, along with other benefits that greatly help your health and fitness. When you are feeling cold, it can even warm you up quickly. Note that all these rope skipping exercises can not only benefit women, but men too. In case of women, rope skipping exercises also contribute to healthy, beautiful skin. This happens because rope jumping increases blood flow that leads to sweating and elimination of body toxins through skin. It also strengthens internal organs and maintains a healthy lymphatic system.
Concerns and Caution
Rope jumping will burn a lot of calories in a short time, but one should remember that there will be other considerations that will determine if it’s appropriate or not. When you are jumping using rope, you are putting direct stress on knees, ankles, and hips, so it’s important to do it in a safe way without any kind of unwanted damage. If you cannot stand the jump on any hard floor, you can do it on a wood floor, piece of plywood, or an impact mat meant for exercise purpose. As a safety measure, wear properly fitted athletic shoes. To build strength, you can try jumping rope barefoot in the grass or on a rubberized surface.
Rope Skipping Effect on Uterus in Women
One concern often raised about rope skipping is it causing Uterine Prolapse, especially in case of pregnant women. Uterine Prolapse happens when the ligaments supporting the uterus become so weak that the uterus cannot stay in its place and slips down from its normal position. According to Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org), the reasons for Uterine Prolapse include:
- Damage to the supportive tissues (ligaments) during pregnancy and childbirth,
- Effects of gravity,
- Loss of estrogen, and
- Repeated straining over the years.
So it is suggestive that rope skipping might be harmful in certain women, also in state of pregnancy and related complications. Many women perform high-impact activities like running throughout their pregnancies without any negative effects on themselves or their babies. According to Lisa Stone, ACE-certified (American Council on Exercise) Fitness Specialist, jumping rope (or skipping rope) is comparable to jogging at a moderately quick pace in terms of the amount of impact on Cervix. In case of pregnancy, she advises women to be aware whether they feel any uterine contractions during or immediately after jumping rope. In such cases, she asks women to switch to another form of activity. In case of any discomfort due to the bouncing of belly and breasts, the trainer advises women to invest in some maternity support garments to minimize the bounce. More importantly, pay attention to your body and slow down when it gives you a signal. It is best to consult your healthcare provider to ensure that your cervix is strong and intact, before getting along with rope jumping.
Apart from the concerns discussed above, rope skipping, in general, is a simple, healthy and greatly beneficial exercise for women, also to men too. So make it a part of your daily routine to keep yourself fit and fine.