Lifestyle

Fitness for the Average Joe: Jump Rope for Cardio

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Cardio. It’s everyone’s nemesis. Unless you’re a professional marathoner, cardio is something even the hardiest of gym-rats dreads. While it’s fun to lift big weights, do yoga, or whatever it is you do to break a sweat, training your cardiovascular system is essential to becoming a healthier and more well-rounded individual.

What is cardio? Simply put: it is your body’s response to an activity by using an aerobic pathway in order to perform the activity. In other words, your body is using oxygen as the main engine or source of energy for the activity. There are a variety of activities that can be considered “cardio” or aerobic. The average Joe may consider jogging, swimming, rowing, walking and skating as a few options.

Time for cardio

Photo: Flickr/sportsandsocial

One interesting fact about cardiovascular training is your body’s adaptation to it. Depending on your intention and intensity, more is not always better. The Average Joe who jogs three miles, three times a week at the same pace, will eventually stop seeing as many benefits from the exercise. This is because your body has already made the necessary adaptations for the exercise. So to continue to see improvements, you must either change up your routine, run longer or run faster.

If you find yourself in this position, whatever your cardio exercise of choice has been, I’m here to introduce you to the average Joe’s secret weapon: The jump rope.

Jump some rope.
Photo: Flickr/raitank

The power of the jump rope to up your cardio game is in its simplicity. While you may get frustrated trying to find your rhythm at first, this practice of orienting yourself with an object and stay in rhythm is not only great training for your body, but it is great training for your mind. Proper jump-rope training is great for teaching your mind how to accomplish a mentally taxing task while under a bit of fatigue.

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