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Exercise, Does a Body Good

For your reading convenients below you will find all the Exercise, Does a Body Good published in 2018

January 2018

Happy New Year and welcome back to Exercise Does A Body Good.
Well 2018 is here and I bet that you think I will give you some New Year’s resolutions. Nope, The only recommendation I will give is exercise 3 to 5 times a week, eat healthy, and or maintain or lose some weight.

This article is about another training exercise program, such as jazzercise, not! Just humor people, just humor. All kidding aside this article is about Cross Fit Training. What is cross fit training? This type of training incorporates both a physical exercise philosophy and a competitive fitness sport. These workouts include elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises.

Before I move onto a sample of a cross fit training program, I need to explain what is plyometrics and power exercise. Plyometrics, also known as "jump training" or "plyos", are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed).

An example of a plyometric exercise is a plyometric push up. The difference between a regular push up and a plyometric push up is that you lower your body to the floor, explode up with great force, go back down to the floor in the lower position, and explode back up.

A plyometric squat is done by lowering your body as if sitting in a chair. Unlike the typical squat where you would just lift your body up to the standing position, a plyometric squat has you jumping up and repeating the process with force.

What is power training? Power training is like strength training, except in power training you are using heavier weights or resistance.

Here is a sample of what a person might be doing in a cross fit gym:
Run 800 meters (half of a mile).
Do 12 pull ups or chin ups.
Run ¼ of a mile.
Do 12 pull ups.
You would complete this cycle as quickly as you could.

The following day you would do:
Run half of a mile.
Do 25 plyometrics push ups.
Run ¼ of a mile.
Do 25 plyometrics push ups.

The next day:
Run ½ of a mile.
Do 25 plyometrics squats.
Run ¼ of a mile.
Do 25 plyometrics squats.
Again, you would do all of these as fast as you could. These are just samples of a cross fit training program. In a cross fit gym, they have so many different types of equipment, that you can create a variety of cross fit training programs. Therefore, I will not get into all the different kinds of cross fit programs that are available.

Here is a sample of a cross fit training program you can perform in your home.
Day 1:
Walk on treadmill for a half of a mile (stationary bike or elliptical), at a quick pace.
Alternatively, if you do not have the equipment, walk in your neighborhood.
Do 10 plyometric push ups.
Walk ¼ of a mile.
Do 10 plyometric push ups.

Day 2:
Jump rope for a count of 500 reps.
Do 20 plyometric squats.
Jump rope for 250 reps.
Do 25 plyometrics squats.

Day 3:
Do 200 step ups on stairs, step block or platform.
Do 25 reps of superman exercise (see past article).
Do 100 step ups.
Do 25 reps of superman.

Day 4:
Walk ½ a mile on a treadmill, elliptical, or in neighborhood.
Do 20 regular push ups.
Walk ¼ of a mile.
Do 10 plyometric push ups.

Day 5:
Complete 10 minutes on a stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical.
Do 50 regular squats.
Complete 5 minutes on a stationary bike or other equipment.
Do 10 plyometric squats.

As you can see where I am going with this, you can design your own program to fit your fitness level and to the type of equipment you have available. Be creative, smart, and safe when designing a fitness program.

You are going to love my stability ball article coming up next month. Also, if you have an exercise program that you would like to share with the readers, just send it to my email address above.

Health tip:
Did you know that if you floss daily, you can help to prevent heart disease? Flossing can help to prevent gum disease. And, in turn, gum disease has been linked to some forms of heart diseases. Happy dental flossing, and remember exercise does a body good!

February 2018

Welcome back to Exercise Does A Body Good. This month I am focusing on Stability Ball Training.
What is stability ball training?
The stability ball (also called an exercise ball, Swiss ball, or physioball) is a simple yet versatile piece of training equipment that you can use to train your whole body with fun and innovative moves. Stability ball training is effective in building balance, stability, and pillar strength. I love working with my stability ball, I incorporate the exercise ball with circuit training and planking. I will cover the basic chest, back, legs, and abdomen strengthening exercises.

For the chest, you can do push ups, and there are 2 ways to perform them with the stability ball:
First, both hands on the ball shoulder width apart and feet placed on the floor hips width apart.
Secondly, is the reverse position, feet on the ball and hands on the floor.

For the back, you can do the superman exercise:
Lean on the ball with your abdomen, and lift both hands and feet simultaneously, and hold for a count of 1 or 2. This requires balance and practice, good luck with it.

For lower back and legs:
Straight Leg Bridging:
Lie on the floor with feet on the ball and legs straight, then lift your butt off the floor. Go back down to the floor, and repeat.

Bent Knee Bridging:
Lie on the floor, feet on the ball, with knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and lift your butt off the floor. Lower your butt back down to the ground and repeat.

Leg Curls:
Lie on the floor, feet on the ball with legs straight, and butt up in the air. Bending your knees, roll the ball until your knees are at 90 degrees. Roll the ball back to the beginning position, and repeat.
For the ladies who want buns of steel, I recommend 15 reps of straight leg bridging, 15 reps of bent knees bridging, and 15 reps of leg curls, in a row until you reach 45 reps.

Abdomen exercise: There are so many ways to work your abdomen, such as crunches, full sit ups, and planking.
Crunch Sit up:
Start with feet on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees, back lying on the ball, and hands behind head, or crossed over your chest. Curl your head and shoulders off the ball until you feel a contraction in your abdomen. Then return to the starting position and repeat.

Full Sit Up:
Begin in the same starting position as the crunch sit up. Curl up until you are in a sitting position on the ball. Curl backdown to the starting position, and repeat.

Planking; can be done two ways:
1. Start with feet on the ball and hands on the floor, then plank.
2. Start with hands on the ball and feet on the floor, and plank.
Remember there are 2 forms of planking; push up or forearm.

I could go on and on about what exercises you can do with a swiss ball, but my editor will kill me. Editor’s note: Just the opposite, you have convinced me to purchase one. Therefore, I need more stability ball exercises!

If you want to develop core strength and balance then a stability ball is the way to go. I recommend wearing sneakers when exercising with a stability ball.
If you decide to get an exercise ball, what size should you get?
45-cm ball if you are between 4 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet tall.
55-cm ball if you are between 5 feet to 5 feet, 5 inches tall.
65-cm ball if you are between 5 feet, 6 inches and 6 feet, 2 inches tall.
If your height exceeds 6 feet, 2 inches tall, opt for a 75-cm ball

If you have any questions or comments about stability balls, send me an email. You can find stability balls on Amazon, PerformBetter.com, and other online stores. Depending on the size and durability, the stability balls can range from 28 dollars to 50 dollars.

Health Tip:
With winter here in America, Canada, and other parts of the world, there is snow. And with that comes, shoveling to do!
Here are some things to do to avoid injuring your back and shoulders.
*Warm up before shoveling.
*Keep your knees slightly bent.
*Lift the snow with your legs and hips.
*Never twist your back when throwing the snow off the shovel.
*Keep one hand near the blade of the shovel and the other near the handle.
*Lastly, buy an ergonomic shovel.
Some shovels are adjustable and some have a curve built in the handle.
Editor’s note: My dear friend Cheryl (from Florida) sent me the best shovel ever. It actually has two handles, creating less pressure on my back and shoulders!
Happy shoveling!
Until next time, exercise does a body good!

March 2018

Welcome back to another edition of Exercise Does A Body Good.

Last month I wrote about strengthening exercises on a stability ball. In this edition I will focus on some stretches you can do on a stability ball. And as an added bonus, how to do my hula hoop exercise using the ball. In addition, a reader shares how to do wall squats with a stability ball.

Remember a stability ball can be referred to as a Swiss ball, exercise ball, or a physiotherapy ball. You can perform strengthening, stretching, and balancing on your ball. I have seen stability balls being used in gyms, physical therapy settings, and in homes.

So, let’s get started on your first stretching exercise on your stability ball. I called this one the Hug E Ball Stretch.
Get on the floor with knees and feet hip width apart. Roll your upper body onto the ball, such as your arms, chest, and stomach and hug your ball. This will stretch your upper back.

The second part of this stretch is to roll further onto your ball until your knees are off the floor. You will feel a stretch in your upper and lower back. Hold these stretches for a count of 10 to 30 seconds, breathe, and melt your body into your ball. Relax and remember, be mindful where you are on the ball. And, please do not fall off the ball.

I call this second stretch the Back Stretch. But actually, you are stretching your chest, stomach, and hip flexors muscles.
Roll onto the ball with your back until the ball is under your upper and lower back. Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor hip width apart. If you need more stability, move your feet further apart. Your hands and arms should be outstretched, like the letter T. Hold this stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, or more. Breathe, relax, and melt your mind and body into the ball.

The second part of this stretch is to roll further onto your back until knees are straight and feet are hip width apart. Hands and arms can be either outstretched like the letter T, or outstretched over your head. You should feel the stretch in your chest, shoulders, stomach, and hip flexors muscles. Remember; stretch, breathe, relax, and melt.

I call this third stretch the Side Lying Stretch.
Roll your upper right side of your body onto the ball. Your legs should be straight, feet either stacked on top of each other or spread apart to give you more stability. your right hand can be either on the floor or off the floor. Your left hand and arm should be outstretched like the letter T. Find your balance, relax, breathe, melt, and eventually move your left hand and arm over towards your head. Hold for a count of 10 to 30 seconds, or more, then reverse the left side of your body onto the ball.

Now for my hula hoop exercise on the ball.
Sit on the ball. Knees bent at 90 degrees. Feet flat on the floor. Sit upright, with stomach tucked in for contraction of stomach muscles. Hands and arms at your sides.
Now using your hips and abdomen, move clockwise and make a circle with the ball. Do 10 times. Reverse movements to counter clockwise, and make the circle on the ball.
When you get good with hands at your sides, move your hands and arms up and out, like the letter T, and make the circles both clockwise and counterclockwise. Eventually move your hands and arms up and over your head and perform as described.
This hula hoop action works your lower back, abdomen and core muscles, and balance. This is not just for the women, who want to be a belly dancer, it is good for the men also.

I received an email from Deborah. She wrote about doing wall squats with a stability ball, and here is what she wrote:
“Here is another idea for the stability ball. It helps balancing in squats. A personal trainer showed me how to place the ball against a wall, press it in to the wall with my lower back and step out away from the wall while leaning slightly back on the ball, Then I squat rolling down the wall with the ball supporting my back.”
Thank you, Deborah, for this great stability ball exercise, and with great description. Give Deborah an atta girl.

Health Tip:
For those who may sustain an injury such as an ankle, wrist, or knee sprain, and are unable to get to the doctors right away, this is what I recommend: R I C E. which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

For example, a sprain ankle, rest the ankle, elevate the ankle above your heart, wrap the ankle, and ice the ankle for 20 minutes at a time, until you see your physician.

Thank you, Deborah Armstrong for your feedback. If anyone else has any exercise ideas send me an email to my address above. Until next time, remember Exercise Does A Body Good!

April 2018

Welcome back to another edition of Exercise Does A Body Good. In this edition I focus on resistant, tubing or TheraBand training, and what each color means. Resistance bands are used to help tone and strengthen the entire body. They are inexpensive, ranging from 6 to 20 dollars. They do not take up much space, therefore, they can be used at home and when traveling.

Unlike dumbbells and other strength training tools, the different colors and strengths of the bands do not correspond to specific weights. Resistant training can come in the form of a tubing, or a TheraBand. The band or tubing comes in yellow, green, red, blue, and black. Learn about the differences below.

Yellow: These are classified as light resistance. This means that they are very stretchy, and it takes little effort to pull against them and stretch them out. Light resistance bands are used for working areas such as the shoulders and shins, where you don't need much resistance to feel the muscle working.

Green: these are medium resistance. These bands are less stretchy and have more tension than yellow bands. Green bands are used for muscle groups that need slightly more tension, such as the biceps or triceps.

Red: these are labeled as medium to heavy resistance. They have a higher level of tension than green or yellow bands and are harder to stretch. Red bands are suitable for muscle groups that are larger, such as the legs, chest, and back. They are also for individuals who have been building muscle strength.

Blue: These resistance bands are heavy resistance. These are much more stiff than red, green or yellow and do not provide as much stretch. Blue bands are for those who are very strong, or for those larger muscle groups, such as the legs, chest and back. These are also the bands to use when working out with someone else; when two people pull against a band.

Black: These resistance bands have the most resistance. These are the hardest bands to stretch and pull. Like blue bands, black bands are used for the large muscle groups, such as the legs, or when working with others. Some sets of bands come in all black and the level of resistance is not based on color in these sets.

Here are 2 lower body exercises to do with your resistant band.
Squats: I recommend using the red or blue resistant band.
Stand on the band with your feet hip width apart. Keep your back straight, face forward, bend your knees slightly, and hold on to the handles of the band. Make sure you feel tension in the bands.
Lower your butt out and down towards the floor, as if you were to sit in a chair, then return to the standing position. Make sure there is tension again in the standing position.
I recommend doing 15 to 25 reps, in sets of 3.

Lunges: To do lunges with resistance tubing, you need to wrap the tubing around a pole, or attach it to a doorknob. Some tubings have an attachment to place inside the closed door or inside the door jam. Make sure you choose a closet door. If you choose a door that people open and close all the time, and you are working out with the door closed and someone opens the door, and whack! That is going to hurt.

Stand upright and face forward, away from the door. With handles in hands and at chest level, stretch out your arms in front of you.
With feet hip width apart and stomach tight, step forward with your right foot about 12 inches or more. Your right knee should bend at about 90 degrees while your left foot stays in place and knee bends slightly. This form will be at the maximum lunge position.
Step back and up to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 reps for 3 sets. Reverse lunge, stepping forward with your left foot.
This will require balance and strength.
Next month I will describe upper body exercises incorporating the use of resistant tubing.

Health Tip: Seven ways to lower your blood pressure without medication
*Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline, blood pressure often increases as weight increases
*Exercise regularly
*Eat a healthy diet
*Reduce sodium in your diet
*Limit the am ount of alcohol consumption
*Quit smoking
*Lower your stress level
monitor your blood pressure at home, and consult your physician annually.

Good luck, until next month, Exercise Does A Body Good!

May 2018

Welcome back to another edition of Exercise Does A Body Good.
Last month I introduced you to resistance band training using your lower body. This issue focuses on exercising your upper body with the resistance band. The colors of the resistance bands are yellow, green, red, blue, and black.

Yellow bands are the lightest and stretchiest. Use this color to work the shoulders and shins.
Green bands are stronger than the yellow, and less stretchy. Work the triceps and calves with this color.
Red bands are stronger and less stretchy than both the yellow and green ones. The muscles you would concentrate on with this color are the larger muscles such as the biceps, chest, back, and legs.
Blue bands are stronger and less stretchy than the previously mentioned colors. This color is good for working the larger muscle groups, and you can work with a partner.
Black bands are the strongest and work best with the largest muscles and like the blue bands you can work with a partner.

The following exercises will work on the chest, back, shoulders, and biceps.

For the Chest: Depending on your strength, use either the red, blue, or black resistance band.
The resistance band can either be wrapped around a pole or inserted into a closed door.
Starting position: Stand up facing away from the door or pole, feet hip width apart, and knees slightly bent. Arms at chest level, elbows bent at 90 degrees, and forearms parallel to the floor. With bands in hands, make sure there is no slack in the resistance band in this starting position.

Movement: Push your arms out forward till there is no bent in your elbows. Return your arms to the starting position and repeat.

Note: Remember to exhale when pushing forward, and inhale when returning to the starting position.
Repetitions: Based on your resistance band experience, strength, and fitness level you can determine how many reps you would like to perform.

For the back: Depending on your strength, use either the red, blue, or black resistance band.
The resistance band can either be wrapped around a pole or inserted into a closed door.
Starting position: Stand up facing either the door or the pole, feet hip width apart, and knees slightly bent. Arms straight out in front of you at chest level. With bands in hands, make sure there is no slack in the resistance band in this starting position.

Movement: Pull your arms back until arms and elbows are at 90 degrees, and return to the starting position and repeat. Think of trying to squeeze a quarter between your scapula’s (shoulder blades), and squeeze.

Note: This exercise is the reverse of the chest exercise mentioned above. And, remember to breathe.
Repetitions: Based on your resistance band experience, strength, and fitness level you can determine how many reps you would like to perform.

For the shoulders: Use the yellow band.
Starting position: Stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. This time, stand with feet on top of the band. Grab hold of the band at shoulder height, hands facing outwards, and elbows at 90 degrees. Again, there should be no slack in the resistance band.

Movement: Push your arms straight up above your head and scream Touchdown, and return to starting position and repeat.

Note: Exhale when pushing up over your head and inhale when lowering your elbows.
Repetitions: Based on your resistance band experience, strength, and fitness level you can determine how many reps you would like to perform.

For the biceps: Depending on your strength, choose between the red, blue, or the black band.
Starting position: Stand on the band with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Grab hold of the band, arms should be at your sides, palms facing forward, and elbows straight.

Movement: Pull up with your upper arms and elbows bending, and your palms moving to your shoulders. Return to starting position, and repeat.

Note: Remember to exhale when pulling up and inhale when lowering back to starting position. Also remember in all starting positions, there should be no slack in the band.

Health Tip:
Whether the temperature is rising or falling it’s time to get walking. Think about doing 10,000 steps a day, which averages out to 5 miles.
How you do your steps is up to you. For example march in place, walk around in circles in your driveway, walk up and down your street, or walk around an indoor mall. Get creative and get stepping, and burn those calories! Happy trails!

June 2018

Welcome back to another issue of Exercise Does A Body Good. In this issue I focus on compound exercise.

Compound exercise equals compounded results. You will get more results in less time. By performing compound exercises, it will result in less time working out.

What is compound exercise?
It usually involves movement of more than one joint and muscle group. In other words, we are going to work both the upper and lower body at the same time.

Equipment needed: A barbell, dumb bells, or just your own body weight.

Exercise 1: Dead Lift, relatively easy to do
Equipment: Barbell
Muscles Involved: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, the gluteus, the latissimus dorsi (back muscles), the trapezius (back muscles), the deltoids (shoulders), and the abdomen muscles. Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees softly bent, abdomen tucked in or slightly contracted, and head up. Grab the bar with one hand in an overhanded grip, and the other in an underhanded grip, shoulder width apart. Bend forward at the hip.
Movement: From the bent forward position, lift your body up to a standing position, arms remaining straight and at your sides. Repeat by lowering and returning to the standup position.
Breathing: When lifting into a standing position breathe out, and when lowering the bar breathe in
Repetitions: I recommend 10 to 15 reps, doing 3 sets
Weights: How much weight is up to you. I recommend using light weights and ease into heavier weights

Exercise 2: Squats and Overhead Press
Equipment: barbell
Muscles involved: Quads, hamstrings, gluteus, abdominals, deltoids, and trapezius
Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, stomach slightly tucked in, and head up and forward. Grab the barbell with an overhanded grip, about shoulder width apart. Let the barbell rest on your shoulders and clavicle (collar bone).
Movement: Lower your butt down to a sitting position. Then come up to a standing position while raising the barbell straight upwards. Return the barbell to your shoulders and repeat movement. Breathing: Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.
Repetitions: Do 3 sets of 15 reps
Weights: I recommend using a light weight or no weight until you get the hang of the movement

Exercise 3: Squats with Front Arm Raise
Equipment: dumb Bells
Muscles Involved: Same as in exercise 2
Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, stomach slightly tucked in, and head up and forward. Grab the dumb bells in an overhanded grip, and have at your sides.
Movement: Lower your butt into a sitting position. At the same time, raise the dumb bells straight up at shoulder’s height, with palms facing down. Then come to a standing position and lower the dumb bells back to your sides. Repeat.
Breathing: Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up
Repetitions: 3 sets of 15 reps
Weights: Light weights (you can always increase the weight as you progress)

Exercise 4: Squats with Arm Curls
Equipment: Dumb bells
Muscles Involved: Same as above Starting Position: Same as exercise #3.
Movement: Lower your butt into a sitting position. then when coming up into a standing position, curl the dumb bells up towards your shoulders, using the palms facing up or the neutral grip, palms facing each other. Then lower your butt down into a sitting position and at the same time lower your dumb bells to your sides.
Breathing: Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up
Repetitions: 3 sets of 15
Weights: Light weights (you can always increase the weight as you progress)

There are other compound exercises, such as the dips, the abdominals bicycle, and lunges, just to name a few. Start out slow, get to feel the movement, and breathe.
Health Tip:
Since many people have trouble sleeping, here are some tips for a better night’s sleep.
Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.
Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.
Exercise daily.
Evaluate your room; turn off all electronics.
Sleep on a comfortable bed, and in a room more cool than warm.
Good luck, and good sleeping!

July 2018

Welcome back fitness fans to another edition of Exercise Does A Body Good. I hope you enjoyed the compound exercises in June’s issue. This month I have continued with compound exercises using dumb bells, a kettle bell, and a stability ball.
Compound exercise equals compounded results. You will get more results in less time. You will work multiple muscles and multiple joints with the below movements.

Exercise 1: Swinging Dumb Bell Squats.
Equipment: You can use either a dumb bell or a kettle bell.
Muscles Involved: Legs, butt, abdomen, shoulders, and back.
Starting Position: In a squat position, “sitting” with feet shoulder width apart, and gripping the dumb bell with a neutral grip, hold it down between your legs and feet.
Movement: rise up to a standing position, while at the same time, swing the dumb bell straight up as far as you can. Swing with your arms straight and up to eye level. Lower yourself to squat position, while at the same time, swinging the dumb bell back between your legs and feet.
Repeat. This will get your heart rate going.
Weights: Start with light weights.
Repetitions: Three sets of 15.

Exercise 2: Dumb Bell Pullovers.
Equipment: You can do this exercise on a stability ball or bench and with a dumb bell or a kettle bell.
Muscles Involved: Upper chest, triceps, shoulders, back, and abdomen.
Starting Position: Lay on the stability ball with your upper back and lower back on the ball, feet and legs little more than shoulder width apart, and knees bent at 90 degrees. With a dumb bell in each hand, in the neutral grip, have both arms straight out in front of your chest.
Movement: Move the dumb bells towards your head and beyond it, keeping a slight bend in the elbows. Return arms back to starting position keeping arms straight.
Weights: Start out with a light dumb bell or kettle bell.
Repetitions: Three sets of 15.
Note: Men if you are trying to get definition in your chest and trying to lose your man boobs, I recommend doing dumb bell pullovers.

Exercise 3: Bicycle Abdomen.
Equipment: none needed.
Muscles Involved: Abdomen such as the internal and external obliques, lower back, butt and legs.
Starting Position: Lie on the floor on your back, feet slightly apart, knees and hips bent at 90 degrees, and hands interlock behind your head.
Movement: Bring your upper body into a crunch position, bring your right elbow and left knee simultaneously together until right elbow and left knee touch. Lower back down and then return to a crunch position and touch left elbow with right knee.
Repetitions: three sets of 25.

Well I hope you enjoy these compound exercises, and if you want more, send me an email.

Health Tip
The benefits of drinking green tea:
•Tea contains antioxidants.
•Tea has less caffeine than coffee.
•Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
•Tea may help with weight loss.
•Tea may help protect your bones.
•Tea may keep your smile bright.
•Tea may boost the immune system.

Well that is it for this month, drink your green tea and remember Exercise Does A Body Good! If you are going to the ACB convention, be sure to stop by our table at the marketplace and say hello and purchase a great t shirt!

August 2018

Hello fitness fans, and welcome to another edition of an Exercise Does A Body Good!
In this edition we are going to be jumping, yes, as in jumping rope. Remember ladies when you were jump roping with your girlfriends, reciting songs, and having so much fun. Well, it can be fun again as an adult. And yes men, jump roping can be fun for you too! Professional boxers such as George Foreman, joe Frazier, and Mohammed Ali, to name a few incorporated jumping rope into their training regimen.

Equipment Needed:
A good pair of tennis shoes/ sneakers
A rope: make sure you have the right size; when you hold the rope under one foot, the handles should just reach your armpits
A large area where you can jump: jump on a mat or area rug for orientation

Benefits of jumping rope:
It is both a cardiovascular and aerobic conditioning exercise
Full body workout
Keeps the lymphatic system healthy (your body’s sewer system)
Muscle strengthening and helps with balance

Types of jump ropes:
Beaded jump ropes: nylon rope threaded through plastic tubular beads
Speed jump rope: weighs less than the beaded rope, and is used by boxers
Weighted jump rope: comes in yellow, red and black; yellow being the light weighted jump rope and black being the heavier one

Jumping form: Hold the handles more with your fingers than with your palms. Hold your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock and at waist height, with elbows close to your sides. Revolve the rope from the wrists, rather than from the shoulders.

Types of jump movements:
Double Jump: jump over the rope with both feet at the same time
Single Leg Jump: jump with one leg for a period of time, then alternate and jump with the other leg
Backwards: rotate the rope from back to front, being sure to jump before the rope hits the back of your sneakers
Walking Jump: jump over the rope as if walking; left foot, then right foot and so on
High Jump: pull your knees up towards your waist as you jump
Skip Jump: one foot lands as the other one takes off
Criss Cross: cross your arms in front of you just before jumping

So, get your favorite music, shoes, and rope. Start jumping and burn those calories! I read somewhere that you can burn up to 1100 calories in one hour. Like the Van Halen song says, Ya might as well jump!

Health Tip: Sunscreen
It’s true that sunscreens that have a higher SPF (Sun Protection Factor) are more protective of your skin. But there are some important points about sunscreens that you should keep in mind. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is comprised of UVA and UVB rays. The SPF rating refers mainly to the amount of UVB protection that a sunscreen offers, not the UVA rays. (Broad-spectrum sunscreens do protect from UVA rays, just not as much.) So, individuals applying a high-SPF sunscreen may not get a sunburn, but could still receive too much UVA radiation from the sun.

UVA rays are known to cause skin aging as well promote skin cancer. (In fact, some countries have banned sunscreens with very high SPFs because authorities fear that they will give people a false sense of security and they will stay out in the sun too long.)

Keep in mind that when applied correctly, sunscreens with an SPF of 15 block about 93% of the sun’s UVB rays, while a sunscreen of SPF 30 blocks nearly 97% of UVB rays. One problem is that people often apply too little sunscreen, which means they are getting a lower sun protection factor than they think. You should always use at least a shot-glass size portion for your body.

Most experts recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50, and applying it generously about every two hours. That, combined with other sun protection measures such as a hat, sunglasses, and proper clothing, should help you stay safe and avoid the damaging effects of the sun.

Until next time, apply some sunscreen and grab your jump rope and get some healthy vitamin D and exercise at the same time!

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