File this one under fun:
We recently caught wind of a new DIY fitness trend that’s going viral. You can do it anywhere, anytime, with anyone. By yourself. On a trail. with your kids in the backyard. Inside on a rainy day, at a park, on a mountain, at the pool, in front of the Eiffel Tower. It’s spontaneous, easy, and totally free.
You may have heard of it. It’s called jumping!
Not long jumping or high jumping, just jumping. Jumping for jumping’s sake. As in leaping off the ground and into the air. Unless you spend a ton of time on trampolines or play a lot of beach volleyball or basketball, chances are you don’t do a lot of jumping anymore—let alone every day. When was the last time you actually jumped for joy? (I think I was eight and my parents had just hauled out a new pair of green metal stilts from the basement on Christmas Day.)
A new website aims to reclaim jumping from the vault of childhood. Launched earlier this summer, The Daily Jump has a simple mission: “to inject fun and athleticism in everyday life.” Its creator, Holly Hobson-Gery, 29, is an Orange County–based runner who started racing competitively when she was 10 years old. "I want to send the message that exercise can be fun and it can be done anywhere," says Hobson-Gery, who trains with the Cal Coast Track Club and recently took second in the USA Track & Field Road Mile Chamionships (with a 4:57). "I've never had a gym membership, because I believe you can use the outdoors as your gym."
The idea took off this summer, when Hobson-Gery posted a photo of herself jumping in her kitchen on Facebook. "I jumped because I was so excited we were remodeling it! People became obsessed with it and kept commenting, 'That's great. Now JUMP!'" She started rallying friends and family to do it, too. "When I first told friends and family about it they looked at me as if I were crazy. But once they did it once, they became addicted!" Hobson-Gery calls jumping “the true exercise of happiness.” Just try to jump without smiling or laughing. It's pretty much impossible.
(Type A's out there: If you want to get serious about it, jumping is a legitimate plyometrics exercise that can help athletes build speed, power, and agility. As with any high-impact activities, the usual safety caveats apply: Warm up a little before you jump—don’t try this when you first get out of bed—and try to land as softly as you can. Avoid torquing your legs in mid-air or on impact.)
The Daily Jump works like this: Jump. Take a picture. Post it online at www.facebook.com/therealdailyjump. Repeat tomorrow. The official website (www.therealdailyjump) is still in development, but you can check out a summers’ worth of cool jumping on the Facebook page and get ideas for staging your own airborne antics. Once the official site is up and running, Hobson-Gery plans to use the social media buzz around jumping to raise money and awareness to encourage kids to be active every day, and, most important, to have fun doing it.
What kid doesn’t love to jump? Get your little ones in on it, too. Your parents, neighbors. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, organize your own spontaneous flash mob—everybody jumps! Don’t overthink it. You don’t need special jumping equipment, shoes, gear, safety mats, helmets, coaches, or supplements. Just jump. It doesn’t have to be high. Judging from some of the spazzy pictures online, the hardest part isn’t the jump, but catching the jump on camera.
Hop to it.