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Great Stuff!

There's loads of great stuff out there to enhance your physical and spiritual health. Every two weeks, All Spirit Fitness brings you something we've found useful. Sometimes it's a brand new fitness tool, sometimes it's an everyday item that you can find at the store. Whatever it is, rest assured that if it's on this page, we think it's great!

Jump Ropes

Jump Ropes
This calorie-counting Jump Rope is available at Amazon

Want an intense cardio activity that'll get your heart rate up in a hurry? Jumping rope will do it. With an inexpensive jump rope you not only get aerobic benefits, you also improve balance, tone your calves, thighs and glutes, and keep the bones of your lower body strong. Plus it's fun, once you get into the rhythm of it. In addition, a jump rope is easy to pack so you can take your workout with you.

Here are a few pointers to get the most out of jumping rope:

  • Get a good jump rope. That means one with that's weighted, has foam grips that don't slide around in your palms once you start sweating, and has an adjustable length (the rope's handles should come up just to your armpits when you're standing on it).
  • Wear good athletic shoes. The best athletic shoes for jumping rope are cross trainers, or shoes designed for high-impact aerobics. Running shoes don't give your forefoot enough support.
  • Jump on a wood floor if you can. Avoid concrete, asphalt or other hard surfaces. You could hurt your joints or cause back pain. Jumping rope on a thick carpet is a bad idea, too. If you don't have a wood floor, try placing an exercise mat over the surface where you want to jump.
  • Warm up before you start jumping. You definitely want to prep your muscles before you leap into this exercise.
  • There are even exercise DVDs and videos to help you get the most out of jumping rope.
  • Alternate jumping rope with another exercise. Especially at the beginning, you won't be able to go for very long without stopping. So use those breaks to do crunches, triceps dips, maybe even lunges or squats if you want to really give your lower body a workout. Then jump back in with your rope for another couple of minutes and repeat with the same or a different exercise.

If you're searching for a new cardio activity, sometimes it's a good idea to look into your past. Jumping rope was fun when you were five, and it may be just as much fun when you're 35!

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