Well – get ready to jump for joy ladies! According to a recent study out of Japan, jumping isn’t only the very best part of the Universal Happy Dance – it could also be the most effective movement for total body weight loss.
Jumping for Appetite Control
In the Japan study, 15 healthy men participated by either jumping rope for 30 minutes, riding a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes, or by resting for 30 minutes on each day of the study. The researchers discovered that the men were significantly less hungry after jumping rope, compared to hunger levels after resting or after cycling. By acting to dramatically reduce appetite, jumping proved to be the best exercise overall for weight loss.
Researchers believe that the reason jumping is such an incredibly effective method for weight loss could be because of the vertical movements it involves, as compared to exercises that only involve horizontal movements. They hypothesize that vertical exercises promote more “gut distress,” and this causes a reduction of appetite.
How Jumping Helps You Lose Weight & Tone Up
But the benefits of jumping go far beyond hunger reduction.
The best exercises to maximize total body weight loss are the ones that incorporate your entire body, and that involve both a cardiovascular element and a strengthening element. Whereas jumping may seem like a pretty simple activity that anyone can do, it actually requires a lot more from the body than horizontal movements might. In order to launch your body off the ground and come back down (safely) again, you have to activate almost all of the muscles in your entire body, demanding them to exert incredible amounts of force, inertia, balance, stamina and control. Working against gravity and the resistance of your total body weight, jumping challenges the strength of all of your muscles at the same time.
Moreover, unlike machine based exercises, you have to solely rely on your own body inertia and exertion to continue propelling your body up and down through space for an extended period of time. That’s why you’ll soon find your heart beat soaring once you start jumping, quickly skyrocketing your heart rate into the fat-burning zone. In this way, jumping can definitely be defined as a total body exercise.
Jumping exercises can seriously ramp up your workout in a variety of ways. You can do jumping jacks or jump rope to warm up your whole body before a workout. Or you can perform a metabolism-boosting, fat-blasting cardio workout by alternating sets of fast, high, high intensity jumping with lighter, lower intensity jumping (also known as high intensity interval training, or HIIT). Alternatively, you can incorporate a jump into almost any exercise, turning squats into jump squats, lunges into jumping lunges, push-ups into burpees, etc., and easily crank up the intensity of the exercises that you are already doing with simple modifications that involve lifting one or both feet off the ground.
Another bonus of jumping exercises is that they can be performed in just about any place that you have sufficient floor-to-ceiling space, not requiring you to go to the gym. Most jumping equipment, like ropes, single-person trampolines, steps and boxes are fairly light in weight, don’t take up much room, and can easily be stored in a closet or under a bed.
Jump workouts can involve a rope, a trampoline, a box step, rings, or no equipment at all. You can use a basic jump rope, or can buy one with weighted handles to add an upper body challenge to your workout as well. Single-person trampolines can be found in most sports equipment stores and can comfortably be used (and stored) just about anywhere in your home that has sufficient floor-to-ceiling clearance (or outside, when the weather’s good). A simple box step, stacking step, or even the bottom step of a stair case can be used to jump on and off with one or both legs, or setting up hoops or rings in an obstacle-course style can provide a fun hopping experience that challenges strength, balance, coordination and core stability.
Jump On Board a Better Body and Lifestyle
With so many different and interesting ways to do one of the most natural and instinctual human movements, you can’t go wrong. The next time you work out, skip the treadmill and grab a rope instead.
Or just stop whatever you are doing right now, lift up your arms, bend your knees, free your mind – and JUMP! After all, as an effective exercise for weight loss — and hands down, one of the most liberating ways to let loose and find your childhood happy place – there’s really no reason not to.