If you want to keep fit without wasting time or money then you need to get yourself a skipping rope.
You can buy a good quality one for a few dollars, or make your own by tying knots at the ends of a long, strong rope.
With a skipping rope you can exercise your whole body all in one session.
You can use it gently or vigorously, for long stints or short bursts.
And if you’re travelling, you can pop it in your bag for later.
Here are six ways to exercise with your skipping rope:
For gentle exertion, turn the rope slowly and step over it with one foot per swing.
You can either do this on the spot or glide around your exercise space, perhaps to music.
In effect, you’re jogging, while simultaneously exercising your arms, so your body will benefit all-round without being over-stretched.
Jumping the rope with both feet is a vigorous exercise, and the faster you spin the rope, the harder it will be.
Two minutes of intensive jumping, and your heart will be healthily pounding away. It’s such a quick, simple activity, you can do it every coffee break, or between writing emails.
#3 Jump Sideways
Tie each end of your rope to a post, chair or other steady object, or ask friends to hold the ends.
You can then jump it from side to side, applying different muscles from those used in straight skipping.
If friends are helping, ask them to spin the rope for an added timing challenge.
They’ll enjoy taking a turn, too, bringing back childhood days.
#4 Use The Rope As A Marker For Floor Challenges
Lay the rope in a straight line across the floor and do hops or jumps from one end to the other.
Now repeat the exercise, moving as fast as you can, and time it.
You can then set yourself the challenge of beating that timing and building up your speed.
Add to the fun by competing against a friend, with one of you each side of the rope.
For another variation, try squatting down and bouncing along on hands and feet, or dragging your body across the floor like a snake.
#5 Spin The Rope Overhead
You’ll need a large, open space for this exercise, well away from other people and precious objects.
Fold the rope in half, hold it by the handles, raise it high above your head and spin it around like a propeller.
How fast can you spin it, and how long can you keep up the movement?
When your arm starts aching, change direction or swap arms. You’ll be toning up different arm muscles from those used for rope-skipping, and others down your body.
Keep your skipping rope with you for daily use, and think of it as your loyal servant. After all, with every skip, jump and swing, it’ll be getting you fitter.