It's also a WHO-recommended way to stay active at home during coronavirus.

Conquering cardio at home requires creativity. Many of us don’t have the space or budget for expensive cardio machines like treadmills, stationary bikes, or rowing machines. And although you can always stream a HIIT class, sometimes you’d rather get in your daily sweat session without burpees or jumping squats. 

Luckily, there’s an easy way to maximize your cardio at home without (literally) running into your couch: a jump rope. The heart-pumping activity actually burns more calories per minute than running and is also a World Health Organization-recommended way to stay fit while staying home during the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to testing your cardiovascular system, jumping rope strengthens your calves, hamstrings, quads, pecs, delts, backs, and biceps, according to a previous Health interview with Tim Haft, ACE-CPT, founder of Punk Rope, a boutique studio that offers jump rope-based classes. Better yet, it only requires one piece of equipment for an intense workout. 

A great pick for beginners ready to hop into the activity is the PBLX Jump Rope ($12, The 9-foot rope is made from a firm, 100-percent-PVC plastic that’s lightweight and tangle-resistant. It’s also easy to clean, so you can conquer your workout outdoors and bring it back inside without fear of dragging along germs. 

pblx pvc jump rope

Designed for comfort and consistency, it’s constructed with cushioned foam handles attached to the rope with ball bearings, which smooths the motion of the rope to allow for maximum rotation. That means you can start with basic jumps and slowly work your way up to more difficult moves, like alternating footsteps or even scissor steps. (Check out this 20-minute jump rope cardio routine for additional moves.)

When your workout is over, the budget-friendly rope is easy to store: simply coil it together and stick under the bed or in a spare drawer. Just be sure to keep it as accessible as possible—once you start jump roping, there’s a good chance you won’t want to stop anytime soon.

Sign up for our Health Shopping newsletter to get your daily dose of retail therapy with great deals handpicked by our editors—straight to your inbox.