We who are likely to die early because we sit too much need a combat plan. Here’s a tactic that could prove an effective weapon.
FITTER BY THE MINUTE | Anyone who checks this website routinely knows I’m obsessed with the fact I sit too much. I HATE sitting in front of a computer for hours at a stretch but that is what I do for a living. Sure I can use a sit/stand desk like the ones we reported on HERE last week. And yes I can—and do—exercise outside normal work hours, but I know from reading the research these practices alone will not keep the Grim Reaper from calling early, most likely unannounced.
Chronic sitters need to engage their muscles and improve their circulation periodically throughout the day, and while non-exercise activity—taking the stairs, walking to the copy machine, etc.—is crucial, this sort of movement along with chair stretches (HERE are some good ones from menshealth.com) doesn’t feel proactive enough for someone who sits as much as I do. Which is how I hit on the idea of skipping 60.
Skipping rope is one of the most highly effective forms of exercise. Livestrong.com reports that minute for minute “jumping rope is one of the most beneficial exercises a person can participate in.” While jumping like a pro requires serious stamina and strength, anyone in any kind of shape and attire can jump the way I do, and they’ll feel better for it.
The Skipping 60 Routine
Every 60 minutes on workdays (I set a timer to remember), I skip 60. When I started doing this I skipped just 60 revolutions of the rope then quit. Now I skip as many revolutions as I can or care to in 60 seconds (at the very least, I jump until breathing becomes uneasy). That’s it—and it could be enough if you believe the latest study out of Korea that suggests 15 minutes of exercise daily that raises the heart rate will add three years to your life.
I always skip in my street clothes (because I stop short of breaking a sweat) and in street shoes if I have to, though I’d rather jump in pumps than go barefoot because the rope always slaps my feet. — C. Rule