Some activities involve little cash outlay and can be enjoyed by the entire family. Among these is jumping rope.
The history of jumping rope is believed to date back to Egypt in 1600 AD. Rope jumping not only served as child’s play but as training for warriors.
Dutch children in early America jumped with two ropes simultaneously and subsequently the term “Double Dutch” became common.
Jumping rope continues to provide an outstanding exercise for burning calories, building strength and improving coordination. Jumping rope for one hour can burn 1300 calories.
Modern rope jumping has become a group exercise activity performed as part of exercise classes. Although it is typically associated with children, it continues to be a preferred method of training for boxers and other combat athletes.
Athletes recovering from lower extremity injuries are often prescribed jumping rope as part of their recovery to rebuild strength and joint proprioception. Proprioception is the brain’s ability to detect the position of an extremity in space.
Childhood obesity is a major problem in the United States today. Physical education programs with shrinking budgets have found rope jumping to be an effective, inexpensive exercise.
Locally, a group of students from the Integrated Day Charter School who love to jump rope have put together a service-learning project titled, “Ambassadors for Heart.” Their goal is to perform at public events and raise awareness of the dangers of physical inactivity and obesity in children and adults.
The efforts of these young ambassadors are entirely supported by private donations. They deserve our support.
Jumping rope can be a first step toward better health.