Exercise was so easy and fun when you were a kid: Playing hopscotch or kickball in the school yard, pitching softballs or jumping rope.
Now, in your grown-up days, there's a way to sweep your favorite playground activities into your exercise routine -- and even lose weight doing it.
The New York Times Thursday rediscovers jumping rope as exercise, and finds at least three classes in New York City offering full-fledged workouts based on the simple rope.
"Jumping rope for 10 minutes at 150 turns per minute is equal to 30 minutes of running between six and seven miles per hour," Edward Jackowski, the author of "Jump into Fitness" and the owner of Exude Fitness, a company in New York City that helps clients lose weight by jumping rope, tells the Times.
Indeed, Times reporter Shivani Vora testifies that "after two months of jumping several times a week, I was lighter than I had been before my wedding [two years ago]."
Aerospace is a boutique gym in the meatpacking district that also incorporates ropes in many of its classes, including boxing and sculpting. It even has a class devoted to jumping rope, called Aerospace, which is offered in 30- and 60-minutes sessions.
The boxer who teaches the classes, Michael Olajide, tells the Times that it's expected for beginners to "start slow and take breaks," but promises they will eventually build up enough endurance to be able to last the entire class.
The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers also offers two rope-heavy classes for aspiring jumpers, according to the Times: the hourlong Interval Box intersperses five to seven skipping sets with boxing moves, and the 30-minute High Velocity class which features constant skipping with stops for a few exercises for the arms, abs and legs.
To read more about these classes, visit nytimes.com.