Man Skipping on green background with black rope.

Skipping and neurodiversity

I love skipping…a lot. Skipping kept me going through lockdown and has continued to form a stimulating part of my life. I’ve noticed that it helps me and others that I’ve worked with manage their mood and energy levels effectively. My thoughts on skipping are purely based on my own experience and the people that I’ve worked with. I hear you ask why would a 50-year-old bloke enjoy jumping rope. Well, here are some of the reasons why skipping has formed part of my daily exercise habit:

  • It boosts my mood: it makes me feel bloody brilliant, as like many other forms of exercise it gets everything moving and as a result, I just feel better.
  • It challenges me: with skipping there are loads of different moves, you can do the double under, single under, hopping, bell, mic release, to mention just a few and all of these are doable, you just need to break them down and practice.
  • It gets my heart working: sometimes everyone’s heart needs a bit of an extra pump. I found it particularly helpful that skipping is aerobic, and I’ve noticed skipping improves how well I can breathe. There is a lot of evidence that shows skipping improves circulation and option delivery around the body…what’s not to like!
  • It burns calories: in a relatively short amount of time, I can burn a lot of calories, which for someone who spent a lot of time sitting at a desk job is brilliant.
  • It promotes brain function: skipping requires me to focus and to use my mental coordination to get my hands and feet in the right place.
  • It improves balance: I have noticed an improvement in my balance, which has aided me in gaining a better sense of limb placement within my surroundings. It’s fascinating to see how skipping has greatly benefited my daughter, who has been diagnosed with dyspraxia, by improving her coordination and building her strength, which she can now apply to other activities such as cycling.
  • It’s portable (it can be done anywhere): I love the fact that I can skip wherever I like within reason. I say within reason as I’ve not skipped on a train yet, but there may come a time when I do. I have skipped at a conference, in a hotel room, in a car park, in a normal park, on the road and outside a client’s office.

There are loads of resources on the internet, but I would recommend Coach Chris from The Jump Rope Company who’s put together 20 brilliant skipping variation exercises to try out over your first 20 days of skipping. Click here to watch the videos.

If you want to explore this as one of your strategies for managing your neurodivergent traits, such as to help calm a busy mind with repetitive moves, or reduce your restlessness and burn off extra energy, I can’t recommend it enough. As with everything you have to try it out to see if it works for you. All you need is your trainers and a skipping rope, anyone can do it, it doesn’t matter if you’re 55 or 105.

If you’ve taken the leap of faith and decided to embark on an adventure with your skipping rope, I’d be absolutely thrilled to hear all about it! Don’t hesitate to reach out and share your skipping adventures here.