I’ve already talked about my running routine and how it is usually the start of my day. But it’s probably my least favorite form of cardio. I prefer rowing over running, but you can’t row whenever or wherever you want unless you have your own rowing machine. The same goes for stationary and regular biking. And swimming is even less accessible for some people. For me, the best form of cardio is something most people do often when they’re children: jump rope.
Remember the days when jumping rope didn’t seem like a workout at all and it was just fun and playing around? Double Dutch right by the stoop and all that good stuff! As a kid you don’t think about the benefits or skills involved with skipping rope. There’s a reason why boxers are often seen skipping rope, though. Skipping rope involves coordination and helps improve footwork. More importantly, it improves rhythm! When you’re jumping rope, you should be on the balls of your feet, not flat-footed with your heels touching the ground. You want to be light on your feet, just like when you’re boxing.
Jumping rope also helps to build up endurance over time. Believe it or not, it burns calories more efficiently than running at times. It’s great cardio! And a really important aspect of jumping rope for those who get injuries from running—jumping rope a relatively low-impact exercise. So it’s something that won’t wear on your joints over time like running does.
Lastly, jumping rope doesn’t take much skill or money. You can always build up to doing tricks on the rope if you like the challenge, of course. But to start out, all you need to do is jump and swing the rope. Anyone can do it. Jump ropes can be bought for real cheap and you can use them anywhere. They’re lightweight so you can take them with you when you travel, too.
If you’re just getting into working out, this is a great way to test your body and mind. You can see where your cardio is at and it’ll take some patience and practice to get the hang of working your feet and arms in a continuous rhythm. Try adding it to your workout if you aren’t already doing it!