Self magazine March 2012

The Only Piece of Cardio Equipment You Need

Self magazine March 2012Balance balls. Kettlebells. Yoga mats. Medicine balls. You may have the hottest home gym equipment, but Self magazine suggests you lose it all for just one thing.

When I was a kid, jumping rope and singing silly rhymes was fun. It wasn’t a workout; it was what I did in the driveway with friends on a sunny afternoon. I remember the sound the rope made as it hit the concrete and how much my friends and I loved to try lining up four or five deep to all jump the same rope. That didn’t always work, but we tried anyway and just kept singing and giggling.

Now that I’m all grown up, the March issue of Self magazine is calling the jump rope the No. 1 way to melt fat. That’s quite a statement! In eight minutes, jumping rope can burn 100 calories. Who doesn’t have eight spare minutes in their day?

If it’s been years since you’ve played Double Dutch in the driveway with your friends, Self offers some great tips for getting the most from your rope–and your workout.

  1. Hold your elbows square to your body and let your wrists do all the turning. Contracting your arms and shoulders along the way will sculpt those upper body muscles.
  2. Engage your core to protect your back and knees from injury and tone your midsection at the same time.
  3. Jump and land on the balls of your feet–no need to bring them any more than an inch from the floor. For greater comfort in your legs and feet, wear cross training sneakers.

I actually keep up with a few of those gradeschool friends on Facebook. They all have kids and careers and activities they enjoy now. I wonder if they might meet me in the driveway to sing and giggle? And hey, we could burn a few hundred calories while we’re at it!