For Fun and Fitness, try Swimming and Skipping Rope
by Joy Ekei
May 9, 2019
Keeping fit does not only make you healthy, it increases your self-esteem as you get fitter and toner muscles. Based on your interests, you could choose a fitness activity which you will enjoy doing overtime.
I am a solopreneur in my mid-thirties with three children; a young adult, four and two-year-olds respectively. I have lived a sedentary lifestyle most of my life because my past career involved sitting at a desk for eight hours, five days a week and now as a freelance writer, I am mostly seated at my desk, writing, marketing or studying.
About 11 years ago, I realized my weight had surged from 68 to 78 kg and knew I had to do something about it immediately. I am not a fan of tedious physical activities and have always loved fun, sporting activities. Being asthmatic, I chose my fitness activities carefully to involve activities which are fun and will aid in my respiration.
To control my weight in a fun way without endangering my health, I adopted skipping and swimming and have kept at it ever since. The result? I am fitter, healthier and blossoming. My asthma is under control too!
Image by Sharky from Pixabay.
Rope jumping has been a fun childhood activity of mine which I simply carried into adulthood. Skipping rope is a fitness style that is very effective in burning calories, toning muscles and setting the pace for other workouts. It can be performed indoors, outdoors, or anywhere there is space, and by all ages which makes it an easy one to adapt for any length of time and intensity, depending on users ability.
There are different types of skipping but I prefer the double jump where you jump with both legs over a rope held in both hands. This is my preferred skipping rope style because it can be varied. In between skipping, you can squat, dance, hop on one leg, run, walk, or hold the plank.
The benefits of skipping are manifold. It burns fat at the rate of over 10 calories per minute, 120 calories per hour, more effectively than running. It improves cardiovascular health, strengthens the bones, especially the ankle.
The rope is lightweight and portable, easily carried around. Rope jumping is fun while keeping fit and you could skip alone or in a group where two people swing the rope for others to jump.
I love swimming and have been doing it leisurely for the past 10 years. When my weight surged, I was embarrassed by my bulging tummy and had to do something, fast. Swimming came to my rescue. It is a fun exercise for the whole body. I swim for a minimum of two hours, three times a week.
Swimming is a good form of exercise because it increases metabolism, burns calories, strengthens cardiovascular health, aids in breathing, exercises the entire body. It is so soothing you sleep better after every session and can be done by everyone, irrespective of age or disability status. Other games like handball can be played in the pool, increasing the activity and fun.
To get started,
- Make up your mind to be the best at it. Give it your all, show up on time every time; ignore negative remarks about your efforts or results.
- You have to learn if you don’t know how to swim or skip already. I learned it too and it took a relatively short time to master because I was really interested.
- Get a good rope and swimming trunk. Swimming and skipping are cost-effective sports and easy to start up. Get good, sturdy skipping ropes and comfortable swimsuits to aid your workout.
- Join a club. Workout is more fun if done in groups. Joining a club will help you link up with like-minded individuals with which you can build a team. It also encourages you to keep going when you feel discouraged
- Involve your family. It slows me down but is worth it as it affords me the opportunity to care for my children while I work out, and also make them love swimming and skipping.
- Going out for a swim during cold weather might not be possible. Not all clubs have warm pools and if yours doesn’t, you could fall back on the jumping rope to keep fit.