Prior to my pregnancy I was an avid runner. I incorporated sprint intervals into my weekly program and would do long distance runs on the weekend by the beach. However, when Natalie was born I didn’t return to running because I never purchased a jogging stroller. When I started working out postpartum, if I wanted to run, I had to do it on the weekend when my husband could watch her so for a while my only means of cardio was walking.
I will admit that I tried running one day while I was pushing Natalie in her Graco Modes Click Connect stroller, but that was short lived and lasted maybe three blocks. Running with a stroller that has plastic tires and no shock absorbency, on uneven terrain, is a no-no. I could invest in a B.O.B. or any other jogging stroller, but I honestly don’t want to spend the money (they are so expensive) and it's just another piece of baby equipment that would take over my apartment here in Santa Monica.
I recently started thinking about my cardio program and how I could get my heart rate up and get sweaty without running. That’s when it came to me - jumping rope! Fun fact, jumping for 10-minutes can roughly be equivalent to running an 8-minute mile so I went to the local Dick’s Sporting Goods, bought myself a jump rope for $9.99, and headed to the Santa Monica bluffs and started jumping.
Trust me when I say it won’t be easy at first. I tripped over myself several times in the beginning and still do. Start off with jumping for a total of 10-minutes and slowly work your way up to 30-minutes. For me, I prefer to incorporate jumping into my circuit workout. I’ll perform 3 circuits, with 3 rounds in each circuit, and jumping is the first exercise. I'll jump for 2-3 minutes followed by strength and core exercises. By the end of the entire circuit I’ve jumped 25-30 minutes total and have worked up a sweat.
Once you've found your rhythm switch up your footwork to keep it challenging and so you don't get bored.
Side-to-side - After the rope passes, split your legs like you are doing a jumping jack. On the next hop bring your feet together.
One-Legged Hop - Try hopping on one leg for 20 counts then switch to the other leg for 20 counts. You can alternate back and forth or do a countdown - 20, 10, 5, and then move into my next favorite variation.
High Knees - You're basically running in place and bringing the knees to waist level. This is challenging but a great way to increase your heart rate and it works your lower abdominals at the same time.
If you’re looking to switch up your cardio program, or you’re a postpartum Mom looking to sweat without investing in a jogging stroller, try jumping rope. If you trip up, stop, reset, and get back at it. All it takes is a little practice and eventually you’ll be jumping for minutes straight with no problem!