Getting the Jump on Your Locomotor Skills

Good, regular exercise is necessary to help one maintain top physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Sure, most of us like to swim, hike, play ball, or bicycle. But what if you don’t have the time, space, or facilities to do these things? Or what if you just don’t care that much about the traditional sports and exercises?

Margaret Blake of the University Ward, Seattle (Washington) East Stake, has the answer. Margaret did her master’s thesis on rope-jumping—or rope-skipping, depending on what part of the English-speaking world you are from.

She discovered that rope-jumping is excellent exercise for both men and women. Regardless of athletic prowess, rope-jumping can be a challenging and fun exercise for everyone. In addition, it is an excellent way for one to release nervous energy and frustration.

Research showed that rope-jumping is as helpful to the college football player and boxer as it is to the person—guy or gal—who is trying to master a dance routine, primarily because rope-jumping aids in the development of grace, agility, balance, rhythm, general coordination, endurance, and strength. That’s a lot of extras from one simple little activity!

Margaret learned that rope-jumping contributes to overall health and physical development by increasing stamina, cardiac-respiratory endurance, and muscle strength. Gains in these areas have amazing side effects, such as better posture without even trying, or healthier skin.

As anyone can clearly see, rope-jumping is a way to get maximum exercise with limited equipment, space, and money. And since it is much less monotonous than jogging or calisthenics, it is an excellent way to have fun, get in shape, and increase your level of health all at the same time.

It also has creative aspects. As you can see by checking the routines in the accompanying illustration, you can develop interesting and amazing patterns and sequences as you gain skill. Some people even claim world’s records on interesting and zany routines and stunts, such as number of times jumping the rope on a log or on stilts, or doing it while kneeling, sitting down, doing a mule kick, or walking on one’s hands. In fact, in certain circuses performers have developed the skill to a fantastic degree, even to a highly refined art. One thing is certain—you can do just about anything you want with it, as anyone who’ll try will soon find out!

In case you want to make your own jump-rope:

Get a piece of half-inch sash cord or nylon or cotton rope. The ends of the rope should reach the jumper’s armpits when he stands with his feet together in the center of the rope.

Next, bind the ends of the rope with tape or cord so they won’t fray or slip in your hands.

You are now ready to jump.

Remember, rope-jumping is a skill. It requires patience and practice to master the muscular coordination and timing necessary to perform skillfully.

The following diagrams show some of the many sequences that you can do with a jump-rope,

As you can see, you can even polish up your dance steps.

On Writing Themes and Research Papers

When assigned to write a theme or a research paper, the usual reaction by most students is a glorious “Ugh!” Even adults often react the same way. Nancy Wudel of Orem, Utah, recently made quite a study about how to write. Here’s what she learned.

Most people lack self-confidence in their writing ability, but in reality they can write as well as nearly everyone else and probably have a handful of fresh ideas. The key to writing is to select an idea that inflames you or excites you or intensely interests you. If you’re enthusiastic about it, you’ll probably make the reader enthusiastic. The next important suggestion is to make the topic specific enough to be covered adequately in the time and space allotted. The most common remark teachers make on returned papers is “This subject has possibilities, but it is too general.”

Think through your subject and then outline—mentally or on paper—the sequence of ideas and points that must be handled. Once you begin to write, do not try to imitate a great literary style. Use your own language. Don’t be too wordy, and use the dictionary for both spelling and meaning. Even adults constantly misuse and misspell the simplest of words.

And finally, says Nancy, remember that there is such a thing as grammar. For a change of pace, here are thirteen “Un-Rules for Writing” that identify the most common mistakes made in writing:

Un-Rules for Writing

  1. Don’t use no double negative.

  2. Make each pronoun agree with their antecedent.

  3. Join clauses good like a conjunction should.

  4. About them sentence fragments.

  5. When dangling, watch your participle.

  6. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

  7. Just between you and I, case is important, too.

  8. Don’t write run-on sentences they are hard to read.

  9. Don’t use commas, that aren’t necessary.

  10. Try to not ever split infinitives.

  11. It’s important to use your apostrophe’s correctly.

  12. Proofread your writing to see if you any words out.

  13. Correct spelling is esential.

Smoking and Teenagers

The dangerous effects of tobacco on one’s health and life-span are well-known to most teenagers.

It is not so well-known that many teenagers know enough not to smoke—indeed, have never even tried it, and “couldn’t care less.” Isaac Clyde Ferguson of the Mattoon Ward, Illinois Stake, tested this knowledge of tobacco and its effect on the smoking habits and attitudes among 971 high school sophomores in a selected high school. Some 62 percent had never tried smoking!

What about the 38 percent who had smoked once or more? Over half of them—64 percent—said that they smoked because their friends smoked, even though most of the smokers knew about the effects of tobacco on the body from their health classes. The study pointed up the importance of one’s friends—what they do to you that you’re not even aware of.

But there is some evidence that some students smoke not out of ignorance of the effect of tobacco, but precisely because of their knowledge that smoking is harmful! One theory has it that teen smokers subconsciously wish to invoke pity, sympathy, or at least attention from those whose love or admiration they vainly crave. And because smoking is unlawful for minors, it becomes a ridiculous symbol of being “grown-up.” Since no one wants to be thought of as a child, the insecure teenager is tempted to smoke in a desperate effort to convince himself, if no one else, that he is grown up. The health risks that everyone knows about only add to the “devil-may-care” image the smoker sees of himself.

Rope Jumping