Health & Nutrition - - FITNESS FORUM -

Jump­ing rope strength­ens the heart along with a range of up­per and lower body mus­cles, in­clud­ing those of the calves, quads, ham­strings, but­tocks, chest and shoul­ders. It can im­prove co­or­di­na­tion and pro­pri­o­cep­tion (the abil­ity to ori­ent your­self in space with­out vis­ual or in­nerear cues), which may lessen the risk of falls. This weight-bear­ing ex­er­cise is also good for bone health. Get the rope that’s right for you. You don’t need weighted han­dles, but a weighted rope can build more up­per­body strength. To check the length, stand on the rope’s mid­point and pull the han­dles up along­side your body. They should reach just up to your armpits. Some ropes are ad­justable. Hold the han­dles lightly and turn the rope by piv­ot­ing your wrists (not your whole arms). When you jump, keep your el­bows re­laxed and close to your sides, and your knees slightly bent. You don’t have to jump high – about an inch or two off the ground is enough. Land gen­tly on the balls of your feet, then bring your heels down to help ab­sorb the im­pact. Start slowly and grad­u­ally in­crease the speed as you get used to the mo­tion. You may want to ini­tially do dou­ble jumps – that is, jump twice for ev­ery spin of the rope. Work up to two min­utes of rapid jump­ing, and even­tu­ally five min­utes. You can in­clude 30-sec­ond rest pe­ri­ods for ev­ery 30 sec­onds of jump­ing un­til you can jump more con­tin­u­ously. Al­ter­na­tively, you can count your jumps, aim­ing for, say, 200 jumps a ses­sion. I have fi­bromyal­gia. Can ex­er­cise help lessen my con­stant pain? Se­condly, can ex­er­cise cause or worsen vari­cose veins?

Ra­jni Pa­tel, Mum­bai

Ex­er­cise is prob­a­bly the best and fore­most line of treat­ment for fi­bromyal­gia. It will not only help im­prove mus­cle strength but also re­duce pain and help cope with the emo­tional dis­tress that most peo­ple af­flicted with fi­bromyal­gia ex­pe­ri­ence. Ex­er­cise and a proper diet plan can also help con­trol your weight. So it is im­por­tant to fac­tor both in your daily regime. Ex­er­cise needn’t be long in du­ra­tion, but short spells can have de­sir­able re­sults as well. Strength train­ing will help greatly in im­prov­ing mus­cle strength/ en­durance and man­ag­ing pain. You may want to avoid ex­er­cise dur­ing pe­ri­ods of in­flam­ma­tion. As for ex­er­cise and vari­cose veins, it is pru­dent to ex­er­cise as cir­cu­la­tion helps re­duce the risk. Be­ing sta­tion­ary for too long and hered­i­tary rea­sons cause this con­di­tion.

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