4.27.2018

Hula Hooping for Fitness

I recently purchased myself a weighted hula hoop as a reward for another 100 days added to my running streak. It came with a workout video and to be honest, I had no interest in the video. I thought I would just hula hoop alongside darling daughter. Her riding instructor suggested it as an exercise to help loosen her up, etc. to enhance her riding.

However, one day I thought, I will just put in this video and see what it is like. I decided not to be biased and assume the workouts would not be any good. It had some really easy stuff to it but some of those really easy moves were great for stretching my ever tight hamstrings and my tense shoulders. In fact, it is my shoulders that burn out first when I do the hula hooping routines. Go figure!

After 26 minutes of hula hooping, stretching, and do upper body moves today I felt I had a pretty good workout even if it wasn't as intense as many more of my workouts.

My 5 mile run today burned about 483 calories with an average heart rate of 158. My 26 minutes of hula hooping and more burned 128 calories with an average heart rate of 111. So obviously, hula hooping isn't a big calorie burner for me but does it have any health benefits?

Yes!

First, hula hooping keeps my heart rate in the fat burn zone. That in itself does indeed have benefits and trust me y'all, it is better than sitting on a couch. You can even increase the benefits by increasing the work efforts with a weighted hula hoop. Mine is 3 pounds can be changed from an easy to medium to hard configuration. Right now it is on easy but I think I am ready to move it up the spectrum since the actual hooping part is easy for me. The arm workout won't be impacted much by the change in configuration as it is more of a range of motion, keeping arms raised, mobility thing for me.

Second, hula hooping is a good low intensity all around exercise. After miles of hitting the pavement, or the treadmill, it may be good to switch things up. When you hula hoop you will definitely work your core muscles - abs and back - as well as your hips, thighs, glutes, thighs, and obviously arms. How you position your legs can change how you work your body and one thing I like is trying to hoop in a squat position to totally engage my quads and lower body more.

Third, hula hooping can help loosen you up. Think about the rotational movements of hooping and how those will improve flexibility along your spine. This is the primary reason why darling daughter's trainer recommended hooping. To loosen her up! To help her separate upper body movements from lower body movements. Teaching yourself to move one half of the body one way and the other half another way....or not at all! I wonder if this will help with my pesky left hip that tends to be tight.

Fourth, hula hooping can aid in your coordination. The biggest way is by trying to hoop in your not dominant direction. Yes, you will have a way that feels more natural. Now go backwards. I naturally hoop counter clockwise. Changing foot position and more while hooping helps coordination but go wild, hoop the other direction! Hooping clockwise takes a lot of focus for me. I cannot do as many tricks but I am getting better at it.

Last but not least, hula hooping is fun! So many of us can take life way too seriously, including our workouts. We need to be able to chill and have fun and when you can have fun and burn calories, that is a win-win. Plus moms, it is a great way to play with your kiddo's and engage them in the fit life too.

Daily Gratitude: I am so glad I invested in a hula hoop and would love to get the 5 pounder too!

Daily Bible Verse: For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. ~ 1 Timothy 4:8

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