Hey…let’s add a little jump rope to our walks, in the beginning as a dynamic warm-up or in the middle to spice things up and have a little fun!
In March 2014, Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times reports “Bones should be jarred, for their own good. Past experiments have definitively established that subjecting bones to abrupt stress prompts them to add mass or at least reduces their loss of mass as people age.” This is great news for those of us concerned about “shrinking skeletons” and osteoporosis as we age. Not only should we walk to keep our bones healthy, but a little jumping, hopping, or skipping rope may be beneficial.
From the same article “Another study published in January found that women between 25 and 50 who hopped at least 10 times twice a day, with 30 seconds between each hop, significantly increased their hipbone density after four months.”
Before you are hopping to and fro all over the place, keep in mind… the researchers are still not sure about how much force is actually needed to stimulate bone — and how to apply that force in daily life. So take it slow. They also remind us that there is a catch-22 for older individuals who have not been engaging in regular high-impact exercise: Their bodies and bones may not be capable of handling the types of activity most likely to improve bone health. To be on the safe side, anyone uncertain about the state of his or her bones should consult a physician before undertaking high-impact exercise, especially if there is a history of joint problems or arthritis.
Here are some jump rope variations to get you going…