Take a guess at Kareem Abdul Jabbar's pick for best overall cardiovascular exercise? If you said jumping rope, you would be right on.
Jumping rope is my first choice for best overall cardio workout. I've been jumping rope for 30 years and, though the image of a 7-foot-2 man jumping rope may make you smile, I assure you that it keeps me in great shape. Not only does it burn more calories than many other cardio exercises, it improves your balance, agility, foot speed, and hand-eye coordination. Jumping rope at 130 revolutions per minute is equivalent to running at 6 miles per hour or cycling 12 miles per hour. Ten minutes of jumping rope at that pace is like running a mile. Also, you can adjust the intensity of the workout to your own level of fitness. If you are in good shape, you can jump longer and faster. If you're a beginner, go slow and steady.