Did you ever jump rope when you were a little girl? I can remember playing in our driveway and jumping rope with my sisters and our neighborhood friends. It was always so much more enjoyable if we could get a group of people together so that we could switch off between jumping and turning the rope. And do you remember those silly rhymes that you learned to recite while turning the rope? Rhymes that didn't seem to make any sense and had no correlation with jumping rope whatsoever? :-) We finally gave up on the rhymes and decided that it would be fun if we counted our jumps and tried to beat each other. I, for one, was just glad every time that the rope went back up over my head and didn't get caught on my ankle. I was much better at jumping rope by myself, because I was in control of the rope speed and would keep it at a nice, steady pace. In my view, my sisters and friends seemed to think that the rope was burning their hands, because they would turn that thing so fast it would make the cool "whirring" sound in the air! How was anybody supposed to jump that fast? Yeah, I still have a few scars on my ankles from those rope burns I got.....
Just kidding. :-) No rope scars here. But this morning, I decided to take advantage of the cardio workout that jump roping gives you. After completing my running on the treadmill, I grabbed my jump rope and ran out to the garage to get some jumping done. (I went outside because I didn't want to wake up everyone else with the slapping sound the rope makes on our ceilings. It's just not quite tall enough for my jump rope.)
After kicking the curious cats out of the way, (gently...sort of... lol) I started jumping. And it was fun! My heart was pumping and my calves were burning. (Not "calves" like in little cows, mind you. "Calves" as in the muscles in the back of my legs. Don't worry - I wasn't sacrificing anything on the altar of our chest freezer in the garage! Just wanted to clarify that...)
Then, I decided to really make my heart rate soar by doing 30 reps of stair stepping (like where you use one step and step up and off of it as fast as you can -it ends up more like step running) and then performing 50 reps of jump rope. Going back and forth between that for several minutes was enough to make me begin gasping for air! But it was fun. Really, it was! You should try it sometime.
Often times, those silly little games we learn as children can be fun even now. (Except for "jacks". I never did understand the point of that game...) But think about it - bike riding, tag, roller blading, hopscotch, jumping rope, and any kind of sports game kept us entertained for hours and a healthy weight as kids. So why have we given them up? Because we're too old for them? I say, let's resurrect them! I mean, can you imagine how much fun it would be to grab a group of your friends and go roller blading? Or heading to the basketball court or the soccer field? Who cares if you're not in the greatest shape and don't have quite the same amount of energy that you did as a child? I guarantee you that memories would be made, and you'd be burning calories at the same time.
So, I challenge you to "play" a little bit today. Besides, kids have more fun anyway, right? lol
Iowa State Fair Outreach Testimony
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