If you long for a lean waistline, cardio exercises such as running and jumping rope can help. The calorie burn is hard to beat, and these activities also build muscle for a healthy metabolism boost. Both have equal calorie-busting potential, so there's no clear winner between running and jumping when it comes to losing fat.
Running and Calories
Fat loss is all about the almighty calorie, and running burns them with impressive efficiency. At a leisurely jog of 5 mph, a 155-pound woman melts 298 calories every 30 minutes. Up the pace to 6 mph, and now you torch 372 calories in the same time. And increasing your speed to 7.5 mph shreds 465 calories in 30 minutes. While running is an excellent calorie-burner, it only works if you can endure it for an extended period of time. You may need to take walking breaks.
Jumping and Calories
By jumping rope, the typical 155-pound woman burns 372 calories in 30 minutes -- the same as in a 6-mph run. So running and jumping rope are about equally effective in helping you slim. It's difficult to sustain jumping rope for a long time, so it may help if you alternate your jumping with jogging steps. For your knees' sake, keep jumps low to minimize impact.
You can jump or run from dusk to dawn and not lose an ounce if you eat as many calories as you burn. And, don't buy into the spot-reduction myth -- no exercise targets fat in a specific area. Trimming your waist requires total body-fat loss, and although your dress size may change, your proportions won't. To lose weight safely, MayoClinic.com recommends consuming 1,200 calories a day for women under 250 pounds. If you're heavier, you'll need more. Get fewer calories in more bites by choosing foods with fiber and water, which fill you up without adding energy. Lean proteins are also helpful for prolonged satiety because they take longer to digest than fat and carbs.
Running and jumping rope are both intense and can lead to injury if you bite off more than you can chew. See a doctor before starting your routine, and if you get the all-clear, start slowly. Start with walking or skipping and then incorporate running or jumping intervals. Purchase quality shoes that were made for your activity, as well as comfortable clothing. Stop your activity if you feel faint or out of breath. Although your muscles are bound to feel sore in the beginning or after adding intensity, any pain is a sign to head to the doctor.
- American College of Sports Medicine: Metabolism Is Modifiable With the Right Lifestyle Changes
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- MayoClinic.com: Fewer Calories, Healthy Food Best Weight-loss Plan
- American Council on Exercise: Ab Exercises
- Harvard Health Publications: 10 Tips for Exercising Safely
- HelpGuide.org: How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off
- American Council on Exercise: Jumping Rope: Not Just for Kids Anymore
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.