Losing 20 pounds in three months isn't a simple task, but using a jump rope is a fun, inexpensive way to shed those extra pounds. Depending on how fast you jump and how much you weigh, you could burn over 1,000 calories per hour of rope jumping without investing more than $5. The jump rope, which you can easily carry anywhere, makes little noise. Since you can jump rope in ten minute increments throughout your day, it's an ideal workout tool.
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Calculate The Calories
Calculate how many calories you burn from jumping rope. The numbers will vary depending on your body weight and exercise intensity. If you weigh 130 pounds, an hour of fast-paced rope jumping burns 708 calories, while an hour of slower-paced jumping burns 472 calories. Alternating fast- and slow-paced jumping will accrue a burn of 590 calories per hour, because even when jumping at the slower pace, your body continues to burn calories at the higher intensity level. At 190 pounds, the same alternating pattern of fast and slow jumping will burn 862 calories per hour.
Calculate how many calories you need to reduce in your diet. If you're planning to lose 20 pounds through exercise, you don't need to cut additional calories. If you're only able to burn a portion of the calories, the remaining calories can be reduced through diet modification. For instance, if you burn 500 calories per day while jumping rope, you can still reach your weight loss goal by reducing another 278 calories from your food intake.
Document your progress. Begin by weighing yourself and taking your measurements -- upper arm, chest, waist, hips and thigh. Weigh and measure yourself weekly. Also document your daily calorie intake. For accurate calculations, keep a log online or in a journal. Accurate tracking keeps you on track to reach your three-month goal.
Select a jump rope based on your personal preference. Test different models including plastic speed ropes, leather and nylon ropes. Handle styles vary as well. Choose the correct length by standing on the center of the rope. The handles should come to the middle of your chest when pulled taut.
Dress appropriately for jumping by wearing shoes that cushion the balls of your feet and clothing that allows movement without being too loose.
Walk or cycle for a few minutes before your jump rope workout to warm up. After your workout, walk or cycle at a moderate pace to cool off.
Keep your knees slightly bent while jumping to allow for shock absorption. Choose your exercise location based on the impact to your joints. Avoid concrete, and use a running track, exercise mat, wood floor, tennis court or carpeted surface.
Vary your jump rope workout by including moves like running in place or jumping jacks. Play music that incorporates the same beats per minute as the pace you're trying to maintain.
Consider using jumping rope as part of an cross training routine until you build enough skills and endurance to jump for a full hour. For instance, if a person weighing 160 pounds can only jump for 30 minutes, he could also cycle at 12 to 13 mph for 30 minutes to burn about 300 additional calories.
Reduce Calories Through Diet
Cut out sugar to meet the 778 calorie daily deficit needed to lose 20 pounds in three months. For example, cutting out two chocolate sandwich cookies with white filling reduces your daily total by 160 calories.
Reduce the amount of fat you use in cooking. Each tablespoon of oil adds 120 calories to your meal, so saute in non-stick cooking spray or chicken broth for flavor and satiety while cutting calories.
Choose fresh fruit instead of juice. A half cup of orange juice is 110 calories, while a medium-sized orange is only 62 calories. This switch saves you almost 50 calories per day.
Avoid sweetened beverages like sodas or cafe mochas. Skipping a 12-ounce serving of soda saves you between 140 and 170 calories each day and passing on the 20-ounce cafe mocha can save you over 300 calories if you usually use whole milk and whipped cream.