I have heard many people say things like they want to lose weight and become fitter but they hate going to the gym or that they don’t have a partner to play a sport with or that they don’t have the budget to join a swimming class and so on. While the excuses are endless, the truth is, there are many simple, no-cost ways to start working out at home and to bring oneself out of inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle. Even though I am a strong believer in the effectiveness of group workouts under the guidance of a good mentor, I know for a fact that there is a lot that one can do on their own, as soon as they resolve to improve their fitness levels. In this article, I will talk about the simple exercise called jumping.
There are many ways to incorporate jumping in one’s fitness routine, starting from the basic stationary jump, jumping jacks, rope skipping to the more complicated and high-impact ones such as high tuck jumps, jump lunges and jump squats. Since jumping increases the heart rate significantly, it is advisable to check with a physician before starting on this workout routine, much like any other routine. Two other precautions to take while undertaking a jumping routine are –
(a) To wear a knee cap or knee support to avoid sudden jerks or injury to the knee
(b) To always land on the forefoot or ball of the foot and never on the heels or flat foot to avoid injury
Plyometrics, or routines that stretch and contract muscles in a short interval of time, such as regular and weighted jumps help build body strength. Studies have also shown that plyometrics help build bone density and prevent injuries by enhancing joint stability, while burning away stubborn fat. These are considered to be highly effective exercises, especially for female athletes. In such cardiovascular workout routines, the heart beats faster so as to bring more oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. Increasing the heart rate trains the body to become more efficient at carrying oxygen to various muscles and burn more calories. For starters, try doing simple jumping jacks for one minute. Increase the duration, day by day, and then gradually add more complex routines such as these in your workout. Just remember to inhale and exhale while you workout, so that you don’t run out of breath.
If you want to start with good old skipping, here is something you can purchase to get you started-