Self Care Sunday: Volume One – Exercise

Photo courtesy of Self.

DOUGLAS ROCHE III | Mind, Body and Soul Enhancer |

Now that March is here, the semester is nearly halfway complete and you cannot even remember what you declared as your New Year’s resolutions; and so, the time has come to make some adjustments, for the sake of your sanity, so you have it together by the time you are handed your first final exam. One of the easiest and most significant changes us students can make to our weekly schedule is properly allocating our Sundays.

For some, Sunday serves as a day to get over the lingering headache that started on Saturday morning after waking up in the p.m. and streaming a 2000s sitcom on Netflix until the sun goes down. For others, however, Sundays are the perfect day to get a strong start on the week, and the best way to jump in feet first is through exercise.

Exercise defeats the prospect of low energy levels and typical exhaustion. Going to the gym on Sunday will provide you the foundation of a routine you can adopt for the rest of the week, which is why it’s essential you move around a bit today.

School tends to pick up shortly after spring break, so taking care of yourself and ensuring your mind is clear and focused, as well as finding ways to keep yourself busy when there aren’t any priorities, matters and should be reiterated. Exercise is only one of several steps people take to better their well-being and overall mood.

While the weekend is the most accessible time for many people to attend the gym, there are several factors that can prevent you from paying the HRC a visit on your days off from classes and weekly priorities. Maybe you have homework you told yourself you would get a head start on yesterday, but after sleeping into the late afternoon to combat a lingering headache and low energy levels, you find yourself with only a few hours to get everything done before you go to bed again.

Though some students may relate to this circumstance, other students may have different factors that are preventing them from maximizing their time on the most underrated day of the week. When it comes to exercise on Sunday, it can be tough for time-restricted or physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausted students.

There are tangible and proven health benefits to exercise, to win over you nonbelievers. The Anti-Anxiety and Depression Association of America promotes exercise as a way to improve your sleep, feel more energized and reduce stress levels by producing endorphins.

Exercising is much easier to accomplish than most people think —  it can take less than an hour out of your day. Effectively, exercise never has to eclipse 30 minutes because of two words: Jumping rope.

Jumping rope isn’t the first thing most people think about when they think about exercise — and, likely because of this, jump-ropes aren’t a piece of equipment the HRC has enough of — but jumping rope is both a time efficient means of exercise and a highly effective one.

There are a lot of reasons to hop on the jump-rope bandwagon. Maybe your current cardio exercise is boring or dragging. You could be one of the students that is winded and has sore calves from the walk up to the third floor of Jordan Hall. Or — and I definitely don’t know a thing about this — you have laughable footwork on the dancefloor at Brothers.

One complaint you often hear regarding cardio workouts is the long-term risks they can incur. With jumping rope, that doesn’t need to be a concern; due to the low levels of impact it puts on your legs, jumping rope has one of the smallest risks of injury among cardio exercises.

The most severe injuries a jump-roper is likely to experience are the marks on your back if you make a mistake and accidentally whip yourself. Your shins and calves may be sore if they aren’t adjusted to the exercise, but your calf muscles and tendons surrounding your ankles see immense increases of strength and flexibility.

One common misconception is the idea that jumping rope is strictly lower leg exercise — but that is far from the truth. Jumping rope strengthens the muscles in your legs, but your core region and upper body are strengthened as well. This is why the use of a weighted jump rope gives you the impression that you are doing all of the work with your shoulders.

Jump-rope is best used as a high intensity interval training — HIIT — exercise that allows you to incorporate other elements, such as dumbbell, medicine ball and calisthenic workouts in between skipping the rope. You get a lot done in a short period of time, which makes it fun, and jumping will definitely improve your coordination and ability to be a dancefloor presence.

You will notice at the HRC that most of the jump ropes may be a little shorter than you would like. Luckily, investing in your own jump rope is by no means a financial burden. Dicks’s Sporting Goods stocks jump ropes of different sizes and weights for as little as $10. You don’t even need a gym for this exercise, which is why you could definitely consider it in between your irresponsible spring break endeavors.

Ultimately, though, it really just comes down to choosing to use your Sundays to move around and get active. While you may not always consider it, a healthier lifestyle is going to benefit students, especially at this time of year. Making the choice to burn some calories on your day of rest can be the catalyst in changing up your habits to keep yourself and the semester moving smoothly and sanely until May.


30-minute jump rope interval workout

Warm up

  • Warm up by doing lunges, bouncing up and down on the balls of your feel doing push-ups. This does not have to exceed three minutes.
  • Incorporating a weighted rope will provide higher resistance and strength training on top of the cardio.

The workout

  • 2:00 jump rope at a moderate pace
  • :30 of flutter kicks
  • 1:45 jump rope at a moderate pace
  • :30 ab crunches
  • 1:30 jump rope at a moderate pace
  • :30 push-ups
  • 1:00 jump rope at a moderate pace
  • :30 plank
  • :50 jump rope at a faster pace
  • :30 crunchy frogs
  • :40 jump rope
    • :10 left foot only, :10 foot right foot only, :10 left foot only, :10 right foot only
  • :30 push-ups
  • :30 jump rope
    • High knee sprinting going as fast as you can
  • :30 ab crunches
  • :20 jump rope
    • High knee sprinting going as fast as you can
  • :30 plank
  • :10 double unders

Rest and Repetition

*:30 rest between each workout

**1:00 rest after completing

***Start from the bottom of the workout after first time through and go back up


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