Between soup cans, empty water jugs, and your own body weight, you can easily replicate a decent strength-training workout at home. But aside from reading the news and googling coronavirus symptoms, getting your heart rate up in the age of COVID-19 is more of a challenge.
I speak from experience. In lieu of any open gyms or workout classes, I started going on outdoor runs for the first time since fifth-grade soccer in an attempt to shake off my cabin fever. When that got old, I tried to rationalize an ill-fated Peloton purchase that was far outside my budget.
I was about to beg my parents for their old treadmill from 1994 when it finally dawned on me: I could jump rope. I honestly couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it earlier—jumping rope is an easy, affordable, and effective cardio workout that offers high-calorie burn with minimal equipment.
Convenience aside, jumping rope is a highly efficient workout lauded by personal trainers and the medical community alike. Science Daily reports that 10 minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to running an eight-minute mile or 30 minutes of low-impact jogging. And XPS-certified trainer CJ Hammond told Glamour that it’s his “favorite underrated cardio exercise,” noting its affordability, efficacy, and ease of use.
Within five minutes of research, I was sold. I contemplated Hammond’s Amazon recommendation but ultimately went with Crossrope, a workout program consisting of four weighted jump ropes and instructor-led classes on its free app. I opted for the brand’s Get Fit bundle (the best value and currently $40 off with promo code WECARE40) and vowed to add at least 10 minutes of jump rope to my at-home workouts.
Four months later I can confidently say that jumping rope lives up to the hype. Not only have a lost a few pounds (a personal health goal of mine), I just feel more in shape; running and other cardio isn’t nearly as painful as it used to be.
In fact, I recently returned to socially distanced OrangeTheory HIIT classes for the first time since March last year, and the once dreaded 15-minute treadmill blocks are now a breeze—I can run faster for longer without jacking up my heart rate into the red zone. I’ve somehow improved my endurance and cardiovascular fitness during lockdown, and it’s legitimately all due to jumping rope.