Ruth Langsford works on fitness with skipping challenge

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Skipping isn’t just for energetic kids, it’s a brilliant way to burn calories and get your heart racing. Skipping has a number of health benefits, physical and mental. consulted the experts to find out all you need to know about keeping fit with skipping.

What is skipping good for?

You will see a whole range of people skipping, from children on the playground to bodybuilders in the gym.

The British Rope Skipping Association site claims that MMA fighters, bodybuilders, and ballerinas all skip rope.

The site says that a cardiovascular exercise such as skipping helps the circulatory system to improve the delivery blood to all parts of the body, carrying more oxygen and nutrients.

Skipping rope alone, can help you boost your immune system, balance your metabolism, and improve your overall health in a short period of time.

The activity can help your mind as well by releasing the happy hormone endorphins.

Bodybuilders who wish to train their calf muscles often turn to skipping rope because it exercises this muscle group well and improves all the tendons and ligaments located there.

Furthermore, out of most calf exercises, skipping is known to put the least amount of strain on your leg joints, which is very important if you’re doing prolonged training sessions.

It is a full-body workout which uses your abdominals to stabilise the body, your legs for jumping, and shoulders and arms for turning the rope.

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Is skipping better than running?

Everyone knows running helps you lose weight, but skipping is the perfect alternative.

Both are forms of cardio, but going for a run or spending hours on a treadmill or cross trainer becomes boring.

You can skip at your own pace and you can do it anywhere you like, even in a confined space.

The effort it takes to skip for 10 minutes is the equivalent of running a mile in eight minutes.

If you enjoy running and hate skipping, don’t force yourself to do something you find boring.

Fitness experts will tell you that the best results come when you enjoy what you are doing.

How many calories does skipping burn?

One hour of skipping with a rope will burn up to 1,600 calories, and this applies to anyone.

However, the daily recommended intake of calories for women is 2,000 and for men it is 2,500.

You will only lose weight if you balance skipping with a healthy diet and create a calorie deficit.

The average adult consumes about 200 to 300 more calories than they need every day, so cut back on the snacks if you are aiming to lose weight.

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Skipping rope workouts

What skipping rope workout you do depends on your fitness level, but there is something for everyone.

If you are a skipping newbie, try doing five to 10 rounds with 30 seconds on and 3 seconds on.

Stick to single under, which is the basic move you will naturally do– one rope rotation per jump.

If you consider yourself fairly fit, you will do fine in the intermediate category.

Do five to 10 rounds of one minute on and 30 seconds off. Stick to single unders.

If you are a fitness addict or an athlete, you should try something more advanced.

Do five to 10 rounds of 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off, but try doing double unders.

This is where you rotate the rope twice per jump, so it’s a quite tricky to get the hang of.

Does skipping reduce belly fat?

If you skip regularly, you will be able to get rid of excess belly fat, also known as abdominal fat.

Skipping exercises your abdominals by using them to stabilise the bod, and it burns calories really quickly.

If you hate doing sit-ups and crunches, we’ve got some good news – Skipping might be better.

If you find skipping boring but are desperate to lose weight from it, try varying your moves.

You could do double jumps, bring your knees closer to your chest when you jump, skip with one foot, or jump twice on one foot and then swap.

Weight-loss nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr said: ” If you are trying to lose excess body fat, you need to commit to a regular exercise routine which combines cardiovascular workouts and strength/resistance training.

“When we include strength training in our exercise regime, we build more muscle mass which in turn can mean we burn more of the calories we consume from food as energy, and

potentially use up some of our stored fat.

 “The NHS suggests we should all aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate activity or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise.”

Diet plays a huge role in losing belly fat, so skipping will only do half of the job. 

Ms Lenherr said: “First up, rule out hormonal imbalance and address your stress through stress management. Then address the diet.

“Adequate amounts of fibre (the RDI is 30g) from fruits, veg, wholegrains and nuts and seeds, keeps you fuller for longer and give you more sustained energy, which can result in less snacking and over-eating.

 “Avoid foods high in added sugars and refined carbohydrates.

“Frequent consumption of foods high in added sugar and refined carbohydrates such as white breads, pastries etc can lead to blood sugar imbalances, insulin resistance and potential fat accumulation.

“The NHS suggests no more than 30g of added sugar in our diets per day. Swap out the white carbohydrates in your diet for the wholegrain alternatives such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and brown breads.

Choose lean protein. Lean protein sources from poultry, fish, eggs, pulses and soy products tend to be lower in saturated fats and protein keeps us full and satiated.

“For anyone who consumes a lot of high fat meat may find that reducing their consumption has a significant effect on their body fat levels.”

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