Getting my skipping groove on

Image shows an orange skipping rope against a bright purple background. Photo by Stoica Ionela on Unsplash

The pandemic has meant I am unable to go to the gym nor the pool. It’s a downer as the former is challenging and the latter is meditative and calming.

As part of the process of adjusting to our new normal, I have been doing mostly stretches and floor exercises designed to keep strength in my back, my core and my legs. My trainer taught me one she calls eggshells and which I simply call fiendish. But it works and who am I to gainsay my trainer?

However, I miss the intensity the gym brings to my fitness plan. Our weather in spring is rarely friendly to walking, and only this week have we seen the sidewalks emerge from the over generous dumps of snow we got in January and  February.

In the first couple of weeks of the stay at home directive, I looked at what fitness equipment I have at home. Aside from my yoga mat, a wobble board, a few giant elastics (also fiendish) and the Death Star (truly evil), my searches revealed a skipping rope.

Now I haven’t skipped since I was in junior high, or maybe even earlier. It took me a couple of attempts to get back in the rhythm of the movement, but then the muscle memory, as old as it was, came back to me, along with a bunch of random snatches of skipping songs.

Before I went down the rabbit hole of searching out the complete verses of the aforementioned rhymes, I looked into skipping as a form of exercise. It’s pretty good in fact, with lots of benefits.

Aside from the cardio (even doing a low impact version can get your heart rate up), skipping works your whole body, including your core, your legs and your arms. It’s kinder to your knees and joints than running.

According to some trainers, skipping helps you with coordination and stamina, as well as focus.  It’s affordable (most skipping ropes are less than $10 and often you can find them quite cheaply at the dollar store). It’s convenient: you can do it inside or outside your house whenever you like.

Most importantly, it’s fun. Because it’s been awhile since I have done any major cardio work, my plan is to start off slowly, using the walk-a-minute-run-a-minute model our local running store uses in their learn to run program.

My driveway is clear, my sneakers are ready, here I go.

MarthaFitat55 usually engages in powerlifting, yoga and swimming but these days is open to anything that will keep her moving.