When was the last time you skipped like a kid?

April 29th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I watch a lot of people move their bodies.  It’s an occupational hazard, I guess, and I often do it even when I’m not being paid to correct form and avoid injury. 

I love to watch runners run.  I love to watch baseball pitchers pitch.  I love to watch ice skaters skate.  I love to watch gymnasts… um… gymnast.

One of my most favorite things to watch, though, of all time?  Watching my bootcampers skip.  Skip like little kids skip up to a neighbor’s door or across the parking lot to the family car. 

It’s impossible to skip without at least looking like you’re having fun. It’s impossible to skip without looking like you are about five years old.  I think it’s impossible to worry and skip simultaneously. 

When I make my bootcampers skip, they turn into a pack of grade schoolers.  It is so fun to see

No matter what age you are, skipping is great for your body and mind.

Better yet, it’s good exercise too!  When you really swing your arms (hands above shoulder height, the straighter you keep your arms and really swing the better) and go for height and/or distance, you can get your heart rate soaring. 

By landing differently than you do when walking or jogging, you strengthen different stabilizing muscles in your ankles and feet.  By strengthening your feet and ankles, you increase your ability to avoid falls and sprained ankles due to weak stabilizer muscles.

By swinging your arms as far as you can as you keep your torso tall, you increase your aerobic output and recruit your core muscles to keep your body working as a cohesive unit.

By skipping high and long, you use fast twitch muscle fibers to get and keep you airborne.  Think about POWER.  Training your fast twitch fibers improves your speed overall as well as your power output in any quick intense movement.

And yet when I watch my bootcampers skipping down the street, I often forget all of the cardiovascular and strength benefits there are in a simple skip because they simply look like they are having a great time.  We need more opportunities to suspend our worries and have some good, old-fashioned fun.

So next time you’re heading down the hallway or into the grocery store from your car, start a little skip.  Have fun with it.

I do!

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