Skip the Fat Out: Reclaiming the Slipping Rope

Posted on April 28, 2012 in Health and Life

By Mmrityunjay Nanda:

Have you ever realized that an old game which each of us would have played at some point in our childhood days is gradually losing its existence in the multiplicity of new generation?

Yes, we do realize that today’s modern youth, which is so much concerned about a live India-Pakistan match and sits engrossed in it with a beer mug in hand or a bucket of chips around, has turned a blind eye to its own precious health. As a result, we can perceive a lot of boys and girls creeping around us dressed funky and crowned with obesity. This is the latest trend; hide your tummy inside your camouflage garments, designed especially for you.

If you believe that you are in the group and do want a change then just don’t worry, it’s not too late. Because this is the sport that can provide to you the quality life by neutralizing all your bad habits and ‘fatty’ deeds of your past.

The sport or game I am talking about is Skipping rope/Jump rope.

Yes, it is a sport which can be played anywhere and anytime with very less investment requirements. And it is still one of the consistent primary tools used for sports like boxing, tennis, cricket and football. While going through the features of each, I indeed understood why coaches insist young players to practice skipping. It really shoots the stamina and strength of the players’, regardless the age, sex and nature of play.

Though there is no strong proof about point of origin of the game, whether in China or back in Egypt, but the first real evidence of jump rope as an activity has been seen in medieval paintings. Due to its influential effects, it was exercised and amused by our forefathers too.

To play the game all you just need is a skipping rope and a pair of shoes for cushioning- and that’s all. Many of us know how to skip but if you haven’t skipped for a long time or are new to the game, then please practice it under supervision of someone experienced. There are different styles and ways of rope skipping. Few commonly used are:

Skip Jump – Hop on one foot and kick the other foot to the front (or behind) the body, alternate legs.
Jog Jump – Alternate your feet in a jogging movement as you jump the rope.
Hop Jump – Hop on one leg for several jumps, alternate legs (start with 2 per leg and increase as you improve).
Jack Jump – Do “jumping jacks” as you jump i.e. one jump land with your legs apart, next jump land with them together.
Double Dutch- Two turners turn two ropes on opposite ends. Now, a third (fourth, fifth) person can jump tricks in between. There is also the possibility that the turners show tricks, too.

Not only in India but all over the world there are federations who are continuously encouraging the game. In our country, Jump Rope Federation of India has successfully executed the 2nd Jump Rope Federation Cup on 29th March of this year.

Irrespective of other sports, Rope skipping has tremendous positive effects on our body with a few minutes of practice. Skipping helps to improve cardio-respiratory (heart and lungs) fitness, flexibility and co-ordination. As a high-impact exercise Skipping is great for building bones and a good exercise to trim hips, thighs and backsides. Many article states that Skipping is a better and more intense sport for loosing fat and burning calories. Mathematically, on average, jumping rope burns about 11-20 calories per minute which is pretty rare in any other sports like jogging or running. Addressing to children, the American Heart Association says that it improves muscle development, blood flow to the brain so making students more alert and focused in class. Additionally, the rhythmic and beat aspects of rope jumping games may help students with reading and language skills. So now parents are free to choose wisely between a Play Station and a Skipping rope.

Hence, you can better understand that this is a sport not only for children but also for the adults. Anyone can easily benefit by assigning a few minutes and an ounce of motivation per day. After all, every sound mind urges a strong and healthy body.