How to Fit In Fitness For A Busy Pharmacy Professional

OCTOBER 31, 2017

 Time. Everyone has EXACTLY the same amount: the richest man, the poorest man, the mother of 6, the bachelor- 24 hours is the daily allowance. How you spend that time is ultimately your choice, and that is a beautiful thing: we are free to spend it how we choose!

Imagine every day you get $86,400 and at the end of the day, it’s all gone. You can use that money on whatever, wherever, and however you want! I bet you got a little excited and started daydreaming just now, yes? Well, time is money, honey! Use that feeling of excitement you just had and realize it is true: you have 86,400 seconds in every single day to spend as you wish!

With that in mind, also consider that on some level, everyone wants to be healthy and take strides to get there. The number one ‘reason’ that this goal falls to the wayside and is not a top priority is, you guessed it, not enough time! But didn’t I just say that everyone has the same amount of time each day? YES!

If we are feeling stretched thin with other responsibilities and want to maximize our return of time invested on getting fit, what is one to do? When it comes to cardio, walking on the treadmill for an hour, or sprinting on the elliptical looking like a gazelle running across the African savannah may not be in our best interest, so what are some alternatives? How can we get the best bang for our cardio time buck? What’s the Rx4Success in the cardio department?!? I present to you the answer: jump rope!

Not only can you literally perform this activity virtually anywhere, without having to pay for expensive memberships, pricy equipment, or fight in long lines during peak hours on a Monday afternoon for your turn (oh, we’ve all been there), you can customize this exercise to fit YOUR individual goals!

Yes, you can perform a “steady state” pace, going at the same skipping speed to ‘inspire til you retire,’ or you can mix it up with a multitude of options to match your actions with your desired goals! As the title goes, there is tremendous value in versatility! Here are a few options to add to your arsenal of jump rope repertoire:

   • Weighted Jump Rope: yes, you can do cardio AND work your muscles for strength at the same time! With a heavier rope, not only will you work your cardiovascular system, but you will also be working on grip strength, muscular stamina, and perfecting an efficient technique of your jump rope mechanics!

   • HIIT Technique: you may have heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) regarding sprinting (e.g. sprint as fast as you can for 10 seconds, walk for 50 seconds, then repeat), but did you know you can do this with a jump rope, too?!? Double or triple jump until you’re out of breath, transition to a slow pace or even down to a figure-8 formation to catch your breath then repeat! This will maximize your time in getting super cardio results, and have you burning calories for up to 24 hours after your last skip!

   • Technique variations: this is where skill can come in! Have you ever seen fancy footwork by a seasoned jump rope pro? Maybe it puts you in a trance just watching what looks like karate by a black belt with a jump rope – it is a ton of fun! And it takes practice- so while you are honing your skill at crossovers or jumping backwards, you are getting in your workout! Double win and double gains for the win!

   • Hybrid workouts: who says you only have to do ONE activity when you’re working out? Allow me to introduce on of my favorite ways to spice up cardio and eliminate boredom: combo cardio! You can literally make this up as you go and change the order each time- one example:

        o Jump rope X5 minutes

        o Walking lunge X20 reps each leg

        o Stairmaster intervals X5 minutes

        o Then repeat!

Integration Technique: this will really build your stamina! In between sets of doing light weights, you can hit the jump rope for an active rest period. Be warned: this will greatly decrease the amount of weight you can safely handle for your working sets with weighted exercises, and should be used with caution under the supervision of a trained exercise specialist.

CrossFit: who hasn’t heard of this! Utilizing a jump rope is a great way to build up your endurance for this activity- many CrossFit gyms already have this built into their programs!

Boxing: some of the most seasoned endurance athletes in the world are boxers (no, not the clothes, ya wiseacre). One of their mainstays of training? The jump rope! Use their secret to reach your endurance success- find a qualified boxing trainer to get started on your journey!

ANYWHERE, ANYTIME! The best part about jumping rope? You don’t have to go to a gym or even leave your house: you can do it in your driveway! But it’s raining, you say? That’s what garages are for! (Just make sure to watch out for anything hanging from the ceiling above- uh, a friend told me from experience… it wasn’t me). Think about the power of this reality: you can start your life transformation from the comfort of your own home- no gym membership required! Add in the fact that you save gas money from having to drive anywhere, and you’ll be skipping with joy to the beat of healthy habits.

   There are innumerable ways to allow the jump rope to be an extremely helpful tool for your fitness Rx4Success, but this list will hopefully give you some ideas to implement it and take action today! Remember: we all the same number of seconds in each day. Using them wisely to reach your goals is what makes the difference. 

*Always seek the guidance of a personal trainer for proper form and execution before performing any physical activity. Clearance from your physician to engage in any exercise routine is a must, especially if taking any medication or you have been diagnosed with any health condition. Safety always comes first!



Adam Martin, PharmD, ACSM-CPT
Adam Martin, PharmD, ACSM-CPT
Dr. Martin is a licensed pharmacist, having earned his doctorate of pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 2012. He is the founder of TheFitPharmacist movement, which strives to empower pharmacists and pharmacy students to thrive in their careers by overcoming stress and unhealthy habits using science-based principles and unmatched support. His passion for helping those in pharmacy led to TheFitPharmacist Podcast on the PharmacyPodcast network, where he provides practical tips for staying healthy while working at the pharmacy, along with interviewing professionals in the top of their respective fields to bring their knowledge right to your earbuds. He merges his passion of pharmacy with the experts in nutrition through being the owner and nutrition consultant at The Diet Doc Pittsburgh North, with the company having over 25 years of success. Learn more and join TheFitPharmacist movement at www.thefitpharmacist.com.
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