- Exercise & Fitness
Why Jumping Jacks are Healthy for you
Advantages of jumping Jacks
Health benefits of jumping Jacks
“ Come on guys…. all right squat, assume the push up position…and lumber jacks; …three, two, one, low jumps; …five, four, three, two, one, high jumps; …seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, jumping jacks; don’t stop…. Don’t stop, I know you are tired but this is when if you keep pushing, you will get to see the results…” And this continued for 1 hour each day, with the happy exception of Saturdays and Sundays, for sixty days. Oh boy, the results were amazing;
I began to fit into my old clothes, I felt much lighter and healthier, and I wasn’t scared at all to go topless when the opportunity presented itself. The man whose commentary you read in the beginning is Shaun T, the famous American fitness trainer and creator of Insanity Fitness Program. In any case, it was my very first time to hear about, and to do, jumping jacks as a fitness exercise. In this post, I’ll explore some of the numerous benefits of doing jumping jacks for exercise.
Benefits of doing jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks is a form of callisthenic exercise, which involves coordinated movement of the arm and legs in an open and close fashion while jumping; when the left and right arm meets, the left and right leg stay apart. Similarly, when the left and right leg meets, the left and right arm stay apart, on your side. The exercise involves a fair amount of stamina, arm and leg strength, and cardiovascular endurance. So what are the benefits doing jumping jacks as exercise?
First, jumping jacks provide aerobic benefits. When something is aerobic, it involves the absorbing and transportation of oxygen within the body. Because you move relatively quickly when doing jumping jacks, you heart rate is elevated; this makes you breathe more deeply, something that sends a lot of oxygen into your blood and, ultimately, to your muscles. When this happens, your muscles are “happy” because they need oxygen to enable you to make all sorts of body movements including but not limited to: jumping, bending, writing, carrying a bucket of water, etc.
Strengthens the muscles
Second, jumping jacks enable you to work out or strengthen majority of the muscles in your body. Perhaps you would agree that most workouts are focused on particular parts of the body. For instance, squats are designed for the thighs just as push-ups are designed for the shoulders and chests, and sprints for the calves.
Jumping jacks, on the other hand, strengthen the legs, arms and core. Indeed, by breathing deeply, you engage your core and abdominal muscles as well. If you are feeling creative, you could decide to assume a squat position right after you jump with your legs wide open and your arms at your side. Doing this will strengthen your thigh, calf, gluteal and abdominal muscles also.
Makes you feel good
Jumping jacks also provides relaxation benefits. When done for extended periods of time, jumping jacks can spark a chemical effect in your body. Your body will release hormones from your brain called endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for relieving pain and giving you a sense of well-being. In addition to endorphins, the deep breaths you take when you do jumping jacks send oxygen to the brain, which clears your mind and energizes you.
To maximize the relaxation benefits of jumping jacks, maintain an elevated heart rate for about twenty minutes. If the task seems herculean to you, you can mix it up with other exercise routines such as matching, just as long as your heart rate is elevated.
NOTE: From my previous suggestion about mixing jumping jacks with other exercise routines, it is important to stress that it fits so well with other exercises during interval training. Interval training is physical training that involves alternating periods of high- and low- intensity activity.
An example of such training is taking a sprint, which elevates your heart rate, and stretching your calves, which lowers your heart rate. For interval trainers, jumping jacks blend well with simple exercises such as walking and complex exercises such as globe trots. What makes them blend so well with other exercises is that you can increase or decrease the speed at which you do them to suit your goals.
Finally, weight loss is another benefit of doing jumping jacks. If you weigh one hundred and thirty pounds (130lbs.) and do vigorous jumping jacks, you burn about four hundred and seventy-two (472) calories every hour; five hundred and sixty three (563) calories every hour, if you weigh one hundred and fifty-five pounds (155lbs.); six hundred and fifty-four (654) calories, if you weigh one hundred and eighty pounds (180 lbs.); and seven hundred and forty-five (745) calories, if you weigh two hundred and five pounds (205lbs.).
As you can see, the amount of calories you lose increases with weight. The reason why you lose weight from jumping jacks is that your heart rate is elevated; this causes you to breath more deeply; a deep breath sends blood and oxygen to your muscles; and your muscles use the oxygen to burn calories, which causes you to lose weight.
Now that you know the benefits of jumping jacks, feel free to indulge whenever you are ready.