Jumping Rope - Good for Body and Brain

 

The best workouts are both fun and effective. As a child, jumping rope was fun.  I wasn't trying to workout or get fit,  it was merely something to do in between climbing trees, playing hide-and-go-seek, riding my bike and running from my mom so I wouldn't have to clean my room.

ChristeneCarr-Jump-Rope.jpg

I remember I could go forever and still have time for an impromptu challenge of a hundred meter race --- and I wouldn't even break a sweat! Fast forward twenty something years and jumping rope is still a lot fun only now I do it for one purpose --fitness. Though I classify jump rope as cardio it tones and defines my shoulders, upper back, calves, and even my abs and obliques.

According to The Jump Rope Institute (yeah, this is a real thing,) the benefits of jump rope, "ranks as an ideal brain exercise, bone builder, and as one of the most efficient ways of improving cardiovascular fitness in as little as ten minutes. [...] In addition, jumping helps to develop the left and right hemispheres of the brain, to further improve spacial awareness and reading skills, and increases memory and mental alertness. Jumping on balls of the feet requires the body and mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous jumping. As a result jumping improves dynamic balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance."

Apparently, 10 minutes of consecutive jump rope burns as many calories as 30 minutes of jogging.  I hate running, so, this is great news.

Bottom line, If you have only  ten minutes to workout, reach for that rope.  It's fun, effective and  your brain and body will thank you!

 

Posted on December 10, 2013 .

10 Minute Workout

There are days when I want to workout but I'm simply too lazy to get dressed for the gym. On those days I'll workout at home in whatever I happen to be wearing. Below is a version of what I may do. Sometimes I'll pause after 10 minutes and work on my arms or abs then do the whole thing again, followed by a nice long stretch.

I know some people still struggle to find the right form when squatting, so, here is a helpful image I found online.

How to do a Proper Squat

 

 

Do you have a go-to at home workout?

Proper Squat Form.jpg
Posted on May 16, 2013 .

Back to the 80s on the Stairmaster

I never worked out on the Stair Master, simply because they weren't readily available in my  gyms.  Even when they were available, they were always occupied. Always.  Until now... Today's workout:

30 minutes on Elliptical (Resistance between 7-10. Average pace about 6 miles per hour)

About 12 minutes on the Stair Master (I think I averaged 2.7 flights per minute for about 40 flights) I used three high tempo songs to get through this routine: Beyonce's "Who run the World," "Moves like Jagger" by Maroon 5 and B.O.B by Outkast.  I tried to keep on tempo with the songs - this is always fun!  I could feel a deep burn in my glutes and my quads.  I think I'll do it again on Thursday (if the machine is free.)

Upper Body Workout

  • Alternating dumbbell curls (10 pounds)
  • One arm dumbbell curls (20 pounds)
  • Standing dumbbell press (10 pound dumbbells)
  • Tricep extension (20 pounds)
  • Shrugs (10 pound dumbbells)
  • Clean and Press (20 pound bar)

My favorite part of my workout is always the stretching....maybe I should find a pilates class.

Posted on April 10, 2013 .

Running is Not For Me

I never liked running.  In fact, it is fair to say I hate running.  In my earlier days I was a sprinter where I ran the 100 and 200 meter races.  Now, 20 years later, I still don't want to run for more than 45 seconds.  So, I figured, why run? Is running a more superior form of cardio? I'm sure it is not, so no more running for me, unless I am being chased.

While I'm on my rant about hating running, there are some days when I just can't stand the idea of going to the gym. On those days I move a bit of furniture around and get my sweat going.

To all those people who say we all should run a marathon before we die, I simply say, no.

Posted on December 9, 2012 .

Walking is Better than Sitting on the Couch

Today's workout started out slow. I had to drag myself.  I think it's because I worked out in the evening versus working out in the morning.  To make matters a little worse I left my headphone at home or in the car or maybe they fell to the curb and won their freedom.  Anyhow, I got into the gym and it was packed.  No Bueno! I like the freedom to move about and do what I want without souped up dudes dropping weights, grunting and flashing their  "manliness" at everyone. Most dudes seem to work on their upper body and that look that says "Check out my biceps! (But PLEASE don't look at my skinny little legs)" more so than cardio, so, most of the carido machines were free. I went to town.

 

Today's workout:

  • 20 minutes on Elliptical (Resistance between 7 – 10. Average pace about  6.5 miles per hour)
  • 15 minutes running/walking on Treadmill ( Alternating: 1 minute running at 5.4 miles per hour on an incline of 1 then one minute walking on an incline of 3 at a pace of 4 miles per hour. A bit annoying but I stuck it out.)
  • 15  minutes on Stair Master (I average about 3 flights per minute.  I was distracted a little by the guy next to me on the Stair Master who kept pushing out his butt and  lifting up his shirt to look at himself. )
  • Hip and Thigh abductor: 3 sets of 10 on each setting. I think I did 70 -100 pounnds.
  • 3 sets of 10 leg extensions with 40/50 pounds.

I had to get creative with my stretch because I had about 2 square feet of space. I can't leave the gym without stretching.

Though I almost didn't make it into the gym today I am glad that I pushed myself to get off the couch.  Thinking about working out doesn't burn any calories and muffin tops can't be "reasoned" away.

Posted on November 28, 2012 .