What do you do for exercise? Do you go to the gym regularly? Take a spin class? Go for the occasional run?
I’ve always been extremely petite and, growing up, people would often tell me that I needed to gain wait… So I spent most of my childhood eating nothing but McDonald’s and avoiding exercise at all costs. Fast forward to my early 20’s and even something so simple as making it up a flight of stairs without gasping for air and feeling my heart race was impossible. The trouble is, by the time I even started to consider transitioning into a healthier lifestyle, the idea of going to a gym or doing any kind of fitness related activity in a public space just seemed… awkward.
So my solution was to workout at home. I started following yoga and pilates videos on Youtube, bought my first yoga mat, then my first set of dumbbells, then a kettle bell and, most recently, a weighted hula hoop. A hula hoop! Like Beyonce and Michelle Obama.
I have to admit, it’s definitely my favorite way to work out. I hula hoop while I’m on the phone with my mom, while watching Friends reruns on Netflix, while brushing my teeth, while curling my hair… It’s an awesome way to squeeze a workout into your day! And you can literally do it anywhere, indoors or outdoors.
So today, I wanted to share a few benefits of incorporating a hula hoop into your workout:
- It works your entire core. Hooping regularly can help slim down the waistline and strengthen your abdominal muscles. When purchasing your first hula hoop, remember: the heavier the hoop, the less challenging it is to keep it in rotation. So if you’re a beginner, go with a weighted hula hoop. As you become more advanced, go with lighter options.
- Actually, depending on how you incorporate it into your workout, it can work your entire body. Hula hooping is shown to work up to 30 muscles in your body.
- It can burn some serious calories. Hula hooping has been shown to burn anywhere between 400 and 600 calories per hour! I like hooping for 10 minutes as a warmup before my regular workout routine.
- It’s just as good for your mind as it is for your body. It takes a certain amount of concentration to keep the hoop rotating. If you’ve never tried it before, you’ll find that it’ll be a little challenging in the beginning but I promise you’ll get the hang of it! Now that I’ve been at it for so long, I’m even able to multitask and hula hoop while doing daily activities like texting or brushing my hair. A trick I can give you is not to look down at your hoop. When you’re starting out, try focusing on a point ahead of you and that should make it a lot easier!
- Ummm, it’s just… fun! Remember when Elle Woods said “Endorphins make you happy! Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”? Exactly!
If you’re looking for your first hula hoop, the one I have is on sale here.