Friday 18th March 2016 is the fourteenth annual National Skipping Day, an event aimed to encourage children to take up skipping as a healthy and fun way to exercise. The focus of this year’s event will be playground skipping skills.

However, its not just kids who can benefit from skipping. All you need is a skipping rope and an open area where you can jump freely, and you can soon be reaping many health rewards as well. The great thing about skipping is that anyone can do it at a level that suits them best.

 

Fat Loss

Skipping is an excellent way to burn the calories required to lose weight. If you skip just twice a day for fifteen minutes per session, you can burn off approximately 350 calories. A pound of fat equals 3500 calories, so if you skip twice a day for five days a week you could potentially lose a pound every fortnight very easily.

 

Improved Cardiovascular Fitness

As you skip, your heart rate increases, improving the flow of oxygenated blood around the body. As you become fitter, you will feel less breathless whilst you are active. The natural knock-on effect of feeling more comfortable while exercising means that you are more likely to be physically active for longer periods, and therefore likely to burn more calories. For those of you who want to get serious about skipping, you can purchase fitness skipping ropes with in-built counters that record how many calories you burn per session.

 

Low-impact Exercise

Skipping, like a brisk walk, is a low-impact exercise which means that less stress is placed on the joints than a high-impact activity, such as running. This makes it a perfect exercise for many people because it isn’t too strenuous. If you implement skipping as part of your daily routine it can become very effective in improving your overall fitness and lifestyle.

 

Does Technique Matter?

Actually, yes! It is recommended that you should not jump more than one inch from the floor. Skipping does put stress on your knees as you land, but if you do it right, this weight-bearing action supports healthy bone density and helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

 

Muscle Tone

Regular skipping improves the muscle tone in your legs as you jump, and also the muscle tone in your upper body as your arms work the rope. By engaging your abdominal muscles while skipping, this can help to stabilise your core. Building up your muscle mass equals a more active metabolism, which furthers your body’s ability to burn calories, even at rest.

By taking up skipping, you will also develop better co-ordination between the upper and lower body. Increased muscle tone and better agility lends itself to performing well in other sports and activities that you are involved in.

National Skipping Day doesn’t just have to be for children. You can get involved as well, and it’s so simple. All you require is the the rope itself, and these are incredibly cheap and easy to pick up. They are also small and easily transportable, fitting inside your briefcase, handbag or glove compartment. Best of all, they can just about be used in any place that gives you the room to jump. You don’t even have to jump alone! Why not get the kids involved and take a trip down memory lane by playing some of these classic jump rope games. A collection of jump rope rhymes can also be found here. Who said that exercise has to be boring?