Remember as little kids how we loved skipping with our friends or that hula-hoop which would spin endlessly on our waists and provide unmatchable entertainment to us! And then we all had to grow up. But guess what? These things can now be included in your daily work out and help you stay fit while losing some of that extra weight.
Why should I skip rope as compared to jogging or swimming?
Skipping is a great option for cardio exercise. In fact if one were to compare skipping to any other form of cardio exercise say swimming or walking, skipping burns more calories i.e. 700+ calories for per hour of skipping as compared to the 280 calories of walking or 500 calories of swimming per hour.
Skipping can very well be called as the ‘best cardio’ workout that there is, other than running. In fact Fitness experts point out that to burn the same amount of calories as skipping, an individual will have to run a mile within 8 minutes!
But what makes skipping so successful when it comes to burning calories is the fact that it involves your entire body in the exercise. As you can see in the picture to your left, skipping makes use of your arms to swing the rope, your legs, calves and hips are used to propel you off the floor. Not only this but skipping also helps you to build up your muscle tone, meaning it tones up your muscles and ads mass to them.
Other notable benefits of skipping are that it develops the individual’s agility and co-ordination, because skipping requires the exerciser to be aware of what he is doing, unlike a majority of other exercises which can be performed quite mechanically.
Tips on how to skip for weight loss?
Footwear - Before you begin skipping, take care to see that you are wearing proper footwear that will not only help your feet absorb the shock of repeated jumping, but also keep support them and keep them comfortable.
Location - Try not to skip on concrete, grass or uneven surfaces as skipping is a weight bearing exercise and puts pressure on your ankles and joints. Skipping on a specially designed mat or a soft surface helps reduce the impact on your feet.
Position – Before you start skipping ensure that you are standing straight with a little distance between your two feet and knees bent to keep the pressure off them. Keep your arms relaxed to your sides and start with a swing to the rope so that it turns in an arc shape over your head.
Intensity – The best way to jump rope or skip is to not do it continuously for a long period of time, as it is a weight bearing exercise and puts pressure on your joints. Instead one could incorporate skipping in their daily workout and use it as a form of interval training, wherein you skip fast for a period of 2-5 minutes and follow it up by some other form of moderate exercise for about 10 minutes and then repeat the entire cycle again. Interval training helps one to lose more weight as it elevates your heart rate and burns more calories.
Why should I hoop?
Hooping is one of the easiest ways to lose weight if it is combined with other exercises. Hooping is especially beneficial for those who are trying to lose weight around their mid-sections or bellies. Hula - Hooping uses two kind of hoops, the weighted one’s for weight loss purpose and the light weight one’s for toning one’s stomach.
Hooping is a fun way to lose weight around the belly region and tones the stomach as it requires a constant push-pull regime of one’s abdominal region to keep the hoop spinning on one’s waist. The low intensity exercise puts miniscule pressure on one’s joints while exercising the upper and lower abdomen regions including the thighs and buttocks. It is used mostly to either lose weight around the stomach or the belly or to tone and shape up one’s waist.
Experts point out that a ‘hooping’ workout of 10 minutes if done properly with a weighted hoop, burns upto a 100 calories!
Tips on how to hoop for weight loss
Footwear – One doesn’t any special kind of footwear for Hula Hooping, sports shoes that seem comfortable will suffice when hooping.
Location – The best part about Hooping is that it can be done in your bedroom, hall and children’s park, basically just about anywhere will do!
Position – Keep your posture erect as possible while hooping, and try to use only your waist or abdominal muscles to keep the hoop spinning. Moving from side to side works better to keep the hoop spinning.
Intensity – One should increase the intensity of the spinning hoop gradually, starting slow. Once the individual is comfortable with the hoop, the intensity should be upped and he should try to keep the hoop spinning for at least 4-6 minutes and then gradually improve his time and the speed of the spinning hoop.
The hoop if used with a variety of other exercises especially abdominal exercises such as abs, crunches and sit ups can give the desired results very quickly and in a guaranteed fun manner!
So what are you waiting for? Grab those hoops and skipping ropes and start jumping and ‘hooping’ your way to fitness with these two fun and alternative forms of exercise.