One of the simplest, most effective, yes easily overlooked exercise devices is the jump rope, and it's so simple to use, even a kid can do it. Professional athletes in a variety of sports, particularly boxing, tennis and basketball, jump rope as part of their fitness workouts, and you can, too! Rope jumping strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, promotes leanness and improves agility, coordination, timing, rhythm, and explosive power on both sides of the body. Just 15 minutes of jumping rope can burn 200 calories, depending on your weight and jumping speed. It's easier on the knees and hips than running, but because you land on the balls of your feet, the impact goes to the calves and shins. For general fitness, jump at about 120 to 135 beats per minute, and avoid jumping on concrete surfaces. Keep shoulders and elbows close to your body, and turn with your wrists, not your arms. Warm up for 10 minutes, then stretch briefly before jumping. Begin with alternating periods of jumping and non-jumping, then work up to 15 solid minutes. Have fun!