Running may come to mind first when you think about the best type of cardiovascular fitness. But, jumping rope is also a great way to build cardiovascular endurance. When it comes to jumping rope vs running, they’re both great cardiovascular workouts with their own unique potential benefits. Learn more about each below to figure out which might be best for your health goals. Of course, you’ll need to get your doctor’s approval before beginning any new fitness routine.
Potential Benefits Of Running
Running is a low-cost form of fitness that requires very little equipment and can be done just about anywhere. In terms of potential health benefits, it’s an aerobic exercise that can support lung and heart functions, help with weight management, and strengthen muscles. It’s also a weight bearing exercise, which means it may support bone strength, too.1
Running on a regular basis can also support your mental well-being. When you run, your body produces endorphins which can enhance your mood.2
Studies also indicate that running may support longevity and heart health.3
Potential Benefits Of Jumping Rope
Jumping rope is another affordable form of exercise that you can do without even leaving the house. It’s a highly efficient workout because it increases your heart rate quickly by engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously.4
Jumping rope requires multiple body parts to communicate as a team. For example, your feet have to jump in sync with the movements of your wrists. This communication helps to support your body’s overall balance and coordination.5
Additionally, the arm movements with the rope engage the upper body muscles to help maintain muscle mass. During a jump rope workout, you will provide strength training to the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and even your core muscles. The interaction between so many muscles throughout the body makes jumping rope an efficient total body workout.6
Jumping Rope Vs Running: Key Differences And Similarities
Jumping ropes and running are both great cardio workouts that increase heart rate and breathing. But, they’re not identical in every regard. Understanding the differences may help you determine how running and jumping rope fit into your exercise routine. Learn more about each of these types of exercise before your next workout.
Which One Burns More Calories?
Jumping ropes and running are both efficient ways to burn lots of calories. However, if done for the same amount of time, jumping rope burns calories slightly better than running. That extra bit of calorie burn may be important if weight loss is your primary fitness goal. But, keep in mind, there are many other health-related reasons to workout aside from burning calories.7
Are They Aerobic Or Anaerobic Activities?
Running and jumping rope are both versatile activities that you can perform as aerobic or anaerobic activities. Aerobic activities are activities that you can sustain for an extended period of time without being totally out of breath.8
The great thing about jumping ropes and running is that you can easily increase the intensity to make them anaerobic exercises. Anaerobic exercises are vigorous, short-interval activities that build muscle and strengthen bones. To transform your jumping or running into an anaerobic session, you’d want to sprint or jump rapidly for periods less than 30 seconds.9,10
Which Is Better For Cardiovascular Health?
Your cardiovascular fitness is paramount to your overall health. A strong heart and lungs transfers energy to your body to enable you to do all sorts of daily activities, like going up the stairs or doing household chores. That’s why the CDC recommends all adults get 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity per week. Fortunately, both running and jumping rope are great forms of cardio exercise.11
Large amounts of research shows that running has a profound impact on overall heart health. Runners tend to enjoy an array of health benefits, including support for healthy blood pressure levels, metabolism, and body weight loss.12
Less research exists on the potential cardiovascular benefits associated with jumping rope. However, one large study found that jumping rope is a highly effective form of cardiovascular activity. Over the course of six weeks, research showed that athletes who did daily 10-minute jump-rope exercises achieved the same improvements to cardiovascular health as individuals who ran for 30 minutes a day.13
Will I Use The Same Muscle Groups For Each One?
Jumping ropes and running engage many of the same muscle groups, particularly leg muscles, like the glutes and calves. But, the distinct movements of each exercise may provide specific muscular advantages.
For example, running tends to work the whole length of the leg — from the hip flexor all the way to the ankle. It can also help strengthen the active muscles in the core, like the obliques and abdominal muscles.14
Jumping rope provides more of a total body workout, as it requires you to use muscle groups from head to toe. The swinging motion created by the arms challenges the upper body muscles, like the shoulders and forearms. Additionally, the jumping motion up and down activates muscles in the legs and core.15
Does The Impact Make One Better For Knees And Joints?
The degree of impact on your joints and knees for both running and jumping rope depends a lot on the surface beneath your feet. Working out on a hard surface, like concrete, can be harder on your joints, regardless of the activity. Choosing a softer jumping surface for jumping ropes and for running may help reduce the impact on your knees and joints.16
The Best Cardio Workout: Jumping Ropes Or Running?
At the end of the day, jumping ropes and running are both great forms of cardiovascular exercise. Running may be a great choice if you have some extra time and want to get out in the fresh air. Jumping rope can be a great way to get in a quick round of cardio right from the comfort of home.
Here’s the great news: you don’t need to choose one or the other. With your doctor’s approval, you can enjoy the potential benefits of both by incorporating a few minutes of jumping rope before or after a run. What’s most important is that you find an enjoyable workout routine that you can comfortably maintain over time. But, be sure to speak to a health care professional before beginning any new workouts.
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