Complex, varied fitness routines can help you build muscle in problem areas and keep you from getting bored. But sometimes you just want to get to the point and focus on one simple exercise that doesn't force you to plan your workout or count calories. Jumping rope is a form of cardiovascular exercise that can help you burn calories and get the slim physique you've dreamed of. However, no matter what exercise you're doing, losing 30 pounds is no small feat and you'll need to have patience and commitment to reach your weight loss goal.
Weigh yourself so that you can easily track your progress. Knowing your weight can also help you estimate how many calories you'll burn jumping rope. Harvard Health Publications advises that, in 30 minutes of jumping rope, a 125-pound person will burn 300 calories while a 155-pound person will burn 372 calories. A 185-pound person can burn about 444 calories, and if you weigh more than this, you'll burn even more calories.
Cut empty calories such as soda and sugary snacks from your diet. While you don't have to diet to lose weight, eliminating unhealthy snacks can be an easy way to cut calories. The more calories you reduce, the more weight you'll lose and the less time you'll have to spend exercising. A pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, so you'll need to eliminate 3,500 calories each week for each pound you want to lose; one to two pounds per week is usually a good weight loss goal.
Jump rope a few minutes each day for your first week. You'll need to gradually build up your endurance before you can jump for extended periods of time. Ensure your rope is the proper length. When you stand in the middle of the rope, the handles should hit at the tops of your armpits. When you jump, land on the balls of your feet. Try three to five jumping reps for one to two minutes on the first few days. Then, each day increase the length of your reps until you can jump for long periods of time.
Build up to jumping 30 to 60 minutes each day on most days of the week. The Mayo Clinic recommends 300 minutes of cardio per week to maximize your weight loss benefits. If you weight 125 pounds and jump one hour each day, five days per week, you'll burn 3,000 calories per week. A 155-pound person will burn 3,720 calories and a 185-person will burn 4,440 calories. This schedule amounts to about a pound of weight loss per week if you're not dieting.
- Wear snug-fitting, shock-absorbing shoes to reduce your risk of injury.
- Avoid jumping on uneven surfaces or broken pavement.
- If you have joint problems, talk to your doctor before you begin jumping rope.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.