Skip to It
The Wannabe teen has recently got into boxing, something I find wrong and terrifying on many levels. However, along with the obsession with hand wraps, Muhammed Ali and (horror) Conor McGregor (not strictly a boxer, but that hasn’t deterred him), it has introduced a new phenomenon into our household: skipping. And although it is new to us, I have to admit it is old to me. For I write as former Wye Valley Skipping Champion circa 1982. Oh yes. Impressive, I know.
When I divulged this snippet of former glory to the Wannabe teen, he was as unimpressed as you are and, rather sceptically I thought, demanded a demonstration. From which I learnt three things: 1) skipping is absolutely exhausting, that’s official; 2) never try and impress a teen and 3) I still love it!
Could skipping be my new exercise regime?
Yes it could! Ignore the slightly alarming image of a middle-aged woman tripping up in her slippers and look at the positives:
- Skipping is excellent cardiovascular exercise. I can vouch for this. It is also perfect for interval training, which can increase fitness levels dramatically.
- It’s a full body workout, toning muscles in both your lower and upper body. Your lower body does the continuous jumping, your arms and shoulders are in motion and your abdominal area is involved too. As an extra bonus, skipping helps maintain good posture, keeping a check on slumped shoulders.
- It is a great way to achieve weight loss. You can burn 50 calories in 5 minutes. Just ten minutes a day means 500 calories a week, not including weekends! Furthermore, it is safer than running as you jump on the balls of your feet, thus lessening the impact on your knees.*
- Skipping can help prevent osteoporosis. Bone density decreases after the age of 35 and deteriorates even more rapidly in women after the menopause. Along with vitamin D and calcium, skipping helps maintain bone health. **
- It helps maintain balance, co-ordination and agility – all important attributes, particularly as we age.
- All you need is a rope. That’s it.
- You don’t have to go outside in the rain to do it.
I decided I would skip two minutes here and three minutes there – on my own – and before I knew it, I was sure to be as trim as I was back in 1982. Then of course I failed to follow my own advice and skipped merrily away on the hard kitchen floor in inadequate footwear. And guess what? I managed to injure my foot which put an end to skipping – and anything else – for a while.
I’m not deterred though. When I start back up I’ll be sure to wear my bounciest trainers. I’ll be fit as a fiddle in no time.
One word of warning (aside from the feet): my physiotherapist friend (specialising in “women’s” health) pulled a slightly disparaging face when I told her about my latest enthusiasm. “Not as bad as trampolining I suppose,” was her verdict. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Which is why we practise yoga, holistic core and pelvic health exercises. And that’s another post right there.
*Be aware, especially in terms of footwear and surface. Skip on a soft surface to avoid any kind of injury. I’ve learned that lesson so you don’t have to. Those already suffering from knee problems should put that rope down immediately.
**Individuals who are already suffering from osteoporosis should avoid skipping as it could worsen their condition.
And, of course, before taking up any new vigorous form of exercise, if in any doubt PLEASE see a doctor first.
Skipping: Have you ever tried it? Love it or Loathe it? Am I the only one here old enough to remember the Double Dutch craze?