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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kangoo Jumps



I bet you've never heard of Kangoo Jumps, right?

They are a fitness phenomenon, of sorts. 

I discovered them at the CAN FIT PRO conference about 6 years ago.  Believe it or not, I actually own a pair.  As you can see from the photo, they are like ski boots with springy things on them.  They supposedly allow you to perform high impact activities while providing much more cushioning for your joints than regular footwear.  This is why I initially purchased them about 5 years ago.  Having fallen in love with running after Big A was born, and then developing runner's knee, before I gave up on my new-found activity, I bought a pair of Kangoo Jumps to see if they really work.

I purchased them for $300 on Ebay - and no, Adam was never thrilled with this whole idea.  Admittedly, I wore them 2-3 times before I put them in a closet and kind of forgot about them.  My knees still felt achy afterwards, so it didn't seem to be the cure-all I'd hoped, and soon after I gave up running regularly.  I received a lot of "I told you so"s from my husband.

But each year at the CAN FIT PRO conference I see them and this past year it made me wonder if I should try them out again since I can now do moderate amounts of running without any problems.  Last week I woke up and was really in the mood to do a new workout.  I instantly thought of my Kangoo Jumps, so I found them in the closet and dusted them off.

I had planned to try and do a 60 minute run on the treadmill.  Set to 5.6 mph, I was able to get my heart rate up to where it usually is when I run at 6.6 mph, however, I stopped after just 35 minutes.  I just don't find it fun to run with massively heavy things on my feet.  It definitely makes the workout harder, hence you can run slower, which might be better for people who experience pain when they run fast, but it just is not fun...or at least not in my opinion.  Part of it could be doing it on the treadmill, because when I first got them I was running outside and I did find it fun, or maybe my memory is a bit foggy.

In any case, I haven't given up on them yet because what is fun is jumping in them and there are now Kangoo Jump group fitness classes across North America as well as fitness DVDs.  You can find classes in Toronto here.  They offer inexpensive boot rentals so you can give them a try.  I think I might purchase one of the DVDs at some point, so I can do classes at home.

Kangoo Jumps may or may not be for you, but they are just one of a bajillion fitness modalities out there now.  Honestly, if you think you don't like exercising, or don't have the time, just start doing a bit of research.  There are endless ways to get active and many do not even require any equipment or gym memberships.

As I've said many, many times, being physically active is so important.  I keep reading research studies demonstrating how critical regular exercise is for prevention of a myriad of health problems and diseases.  As they now say:  "Physical Inactivity is the New Smoking!"