Of all the workouts you can do for your heart and lungs, running is arguably the most popular. Running is just one of those activities that is pretty instant– you lace up your shoes and head out the door and that’s really all there is to it. Left foot, right, foot, breath and repeat.
That’s part of the allure of running– it does not require much in the way of ability. Another benefit of running is that you can run pretty much anywhere and at anytime; no need to sign up with an expensive health club or hire a personal trainer.
There are, however, a couple of drawbacks to running that are worth taking into consideration, especially if you are only running for wellness and weight control. If you are running to become a much better runner then you really need to run but for the rest of us, maybe these drawbacks mean that running isn’t the best way to keep fit and lose weight.
• Weather — running in the rain is all right if a little uncomfortable, but snow, ice and strong winds can make running unsafe. If you live somewhere that the weather conditions are frequently bad, maybe running is going to be a seasonal activity.
• Lighting — running in the dark can be unsafe. Traffic, uneven sidewalks, bad road surfaces and other road users can become major hazards when it gets dark. You may well be in the right however an altercation with an automobile will also result in a car: 1, runner: 0 score line.
• Equipment — enjoyable, safe running requires a considerable financial outlay. You’ll require proper footwear, the appropriate kind of clothing, warm weather gear, cold weather gear wet weather gear and then, after spending all that money, you might find that you don’t even enjoy running!
• Benefits — there is no question that running is good for your heart, lungs and legs but actually, running trains your physical body to be good at one thing — going forward. This means that some muscles become very well developed while others are all but ignored. There is no side to side motion, twisting or turning so if you are running to boost your sports performance after that you may need to include additional kinds of workouts into your regular training schedule.
• Injuries– running is hard on the ankles, knees, hips and spine. Each step you take leads to a tremendous amount of force being shot up though your body and this can be injurious.
If you are starting to think that maybe running isn’t for you, you’ll also be asking “well, exactly what’s the alternative?” Good question! You could do a lot worse than jump rope training.
Unlike running, you can jump rope in the comfort of your own home, far from unsafe traffic and out of bad weather conditions. You can pretty much wear exactly what you wish and it doesn’t matter whether it’s light or dark outside — you can jump rope pretty much any time. An excellent jump rope costs less than you’d spend for just one cheap running shoe too so it’s an affordable activity to get into.
Jumping rope uses more than one simple technique so it can help develop a more all round kind of physical fitness and many of the moves in jump rope will certainly develop coordination and agility as well as cardiovascular fitness. Overuse injuries, so common in joggers, are far less common in jump rope workouts because there is less impact associated with jumping rope compared with running.
Overall, the effect of running and jump rope are very comparable but if running isn’t your thing or you feel the drawbacks outweigh the advantages of heading out for a run, think about buying a jump rope and enjoying all of the advantages this safe, convenient and simple type of workout has to offer.