Both running and jumping rope are effective and accessible cardiovascular exercises. “Both activities cost very little, and you can do them without a gym membership in any location,” Sklaver says.

According to family medicine physician and certified personal trainer Michele Reed, D.O., both exercises can lead to benefits in how you walk or stand. As for which one is better? Well that depends on the individual and their circumstance. 

“If you do not have any knee pain or arthritis, you are the perfect candidate to run,” Reed says. “If you are working with limited time, jumping rope is good—especially to improve agility and flexibility,” she adds.

Specific goals, like calorie burning, muscle building, etc., will also help determine which exercise is best for you. For example, Sklaver says running (particularly sprinting) will build more leg muscles, including glutes and quads, than jumping rope.

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