Up until I graduated from college, my relationship with my body and fitness, in general, has always been relatively okay. I've been a taekwondo athlete since I was nine years old, but I stopped when I turned 20. Since it was a full-contact sport, I considered it my main workout. Aside from sparring, our training also included strengthening, flexibility, and agility exercises, so it had everything I needed.
Things changed when I graduated, though. I decided to ~retire~ from the sport and dive headfirst into the "real world." I landed a job after two months, and while I wasn't submitting myself to gruelling exercises like before, I considered my commute to and from the office to be my workout. (Hello, 15,000 steps a day!)
When the pandemic hit, however, our company decided to employ a work from home setup for the safety of everyone. During the first few months of the quarantine, my mental health was at an all-time low. While people were making dalgona coffee and trying out ube cheese pan de sal, I found myself crying a lot, stress eating, and just trying to get by day by day. I had no motivation to do anything, so most of my days consisted of just waking up, working in my bedroom, timing out, eating dinner while watching something on Netflix, and falling asleep. Since I wasn't leaving the house, I began to gain a few pounds. All that time alone in my room also made me notice the little quirks of my body. I never knew it before, but apparently, I have hip dips. (Thanks, TikTok.)
All of these lowered my self-esteem, TBH. When the quarantine eased, I would walk my dog around the neighborhood to get some exercise. I also tried yoga, HIIT workouts, and even Chloe Ting's YouTube videos, but none of them really felt right for me. As I was scrolling through Instagram, I noticed that a lot of people were getting into jump roping. I thought it looked interesting. And since I didn't really want to go to the gym because I was still afraid of being around so many people, I wanted something that I could do at home. Jumping rope seemed like the perfect option, so I went ahead and bought my very first jump rope. So far, one of the things I like about it is how I only need my rope to get a workout in. Plus, I can exercise even in a small space, so I could skip in my bedroom or in our living room.
In the beginning, I found jumping rope to be difficult. It was different from the way I used to do it when I was a kid. I had to be mindful of doing the proper form this time (only using my wrists to turn the rope, keeping my elbows close to my body, slightly bending my knees, and only jumping a few inches from the ground). It was like being a kid again and having to relearn the basics. I could only last about five minutes before getting winded. Not gonna lie, it felt like my legs were burning, haha!
As the days passed by, I started getting better. I definitely noticed a ton of changes—both mental and physical—since I started skipping. For one, it gave me something to look forward to after work. Even if I was tired from writing all day, I was excited to pick up my rope after timing out. Granted, my legs would feel like jelly afterward, but the exercise definitely gave me ~happy~ hormones. Jumping rope also got me out of my "depression slump," where I'd be too tired to do anything and end up just staying in bed. Though there are days where I'd feel lazy to jump rope, I'd always try to force myself to do it for even just five to 10 minutes—and I always end up thanking myself when I'm done, LOL.
For the physical changes, I shed a few pounds since I started. I'm nowhere near my goal weight just yet, but the combination of jumping rope and eating in moderation definitely sped up the process. I'm also lighter on my feet, since you have to be fast if you want get more skips in under a certain amount of time. I could skip for 20 minutes without getting tired. My breathing was also much more controlled. After two weeks, I could even do some basic tricks like the skier, boxer skip, crossovers, and double unders! Another plus would be that my rhythm and concentration has improved, since I have to time my jumps or I'd end up whipping my legs (not the best sensation in the world since there's a lot of momentum going into it, eep!).
Right now, I only own two ropes: a regular PVC one and a soft, beaded jump rope with long handles. I got my PVC jump rope from Jump Manila on Lazada for P328. It was the most common of all the jump ropes I saw online, so it was the first one I bought. It's also very light, so it kind of forced me to be quicker on my feet, LOL. Eventually, I wanted something with more weight, so I got a soft beaded jump rope as well. TBH, I thought it wouldn't weigh as much since it only has soft beads, but boy was I wrong, haha! The long handles also make it great for tricks like crossovers and double unders. I got mine from BFitnessPH on Shopee for P289.
Jumping rope is definitely something I would recommend to people who are busy and can only sneak about 10 to 15 minutes for working out. ICYDK, ten minutes of high-intensity jump roping is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging! It's also great for people who want to do their workout inside the house, since you only need a small area to skip in.
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