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Can I use a skipping rope for exercise?

Q: I wish to do exercise with a skipping rope regularly. I have just begun with the exercise regimen. Which type of shoes I should wear? Is a pair of ordinary cut-shoes enough? How many skips are required per day? Actually I don't jump while skipping? What I do is somewhat like running. The legs skip the rope one after the other. Is this okay? Is stretching exercise required before this exercise?

A:Skipping per se, is not bad for your knees but you do have to consider a few factors: Do wear a cushioned pair of shoes when you skip so as to reduce the wear and tear of the joints. Do skip on a soft surface like a mud track or a field instead of hard ground or the floor. This will again ensure less wear and tear. If you are overweight, in the long run, you might just be increasing your risk of getting joint problems, not only in your knees but anywhere in your back, shoulders etc. So you might like to alternate skipping with brisk walking or any other aerobic exercise to get the same benefits without the risks. Skipping for approximately 10-20 minutes at a time should be fine. You could skip with one foot always on the ground as opposed to running, so that you reduce the impact on your joints.

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