Jumping rope for 30 minutes can burn as many as 600 calories, which is as much or more than many other cardio activities would burn. The best part about jumping rope, however, is that you can do it easily at home. All you need is a rope and a proper area for jumping -- and a bit of a kid's heart to be able to enjoy all of the skipping.
Find a rope that's the right length. To do that, step on the middle of the rope and stretch the handles toward your arm pits. The rope should stop right before the handles reach your arm pits. If it reaches higher than that, your rope is too long and the jumping will be awkward. If it's shorter than that, you might end up tripping regularly.
Find a safe area for jumping. Make sure there's nothing breakable in the close vicinity, so you don't accidentally hit it with the rope. You should have enough clearance from furniture and windows and doors that you can safely swing the rope around you without hitting anything. Jumping in the garage or an outdoor porch might be a better idea than trying to jump in the living room.
Pick the right surface. Jumping on carpet is a bad idea because it can affect the bounce of the rope, resulting in tangling and uneven jumping. Plus, soft surfaces don't provide great support, so you might end you twisting your ankle or hurting your leg. Cement is also not a great option, since it can hurt your knees. Wood floors are the best option for jumping rope, as they provide enough shock absorption while also providing support.
Jump five to 10 minutes at first. If you find yourself out of breath, take breaks in between and jog slowly in place. Then go back to jumping. As your body gets used to the workout, increase the jumping time until your reach your goal. Twenty to 30 minutes of jumping is a good amount for calorie burning.
- Jumping rope for 30 minutes straight can get boring, which is why varying your routine is a must. Try jumping using one foot, then two, then back to one. Or, try doing interval jumping by jumping as fast as you can for one minute, then slowing down and jumping at a milder pace for the next two to three minutes, then back to fast jumping. Listening to music while you jump can also help make the routine more entertaining.
- Jumping rope is a high-impact activity. If you have knee or hip problems, talk to your doctor before starting a jumping routine.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.