Workout Wednesday - Drop the Doughnut

Look, I get it. It's been a long and rough year. Hell, it's been a long and rough week. Admittedly, I took refuge in the bosom of sugary fried delicious hoops of dough (thank you Do-Rite), but now it's time to trade my apple fritter for some striped glitter. A striped glitter hula hoop, that is.

So, drop that doughnut, yes the glazed one in your right hand and the one around your midsection, too. Hula hooping is a super fun, low impact way to work your core, building up abdominal muscles, and burning calories all in one fell swoop. A 175 pound woman will burn up to 231 calories doing 30 minutes of hula hooping. All it takes is a minimum of 15 minutes of practice a day to get your metabolism going and you'll be good to go.

But wait! Men can get in on it too. Strengthening your core has numerous benefits including prevention of back injury and improving balance and stability. Hula hooping can help with all of this, plus it's fun. Don't be afraid to unleash your 10 year old self and blast that spare tire around your middle.

The most important thing you need to know about hula hooping as an adult is that size matters. Adults need larger hula hoops and the general rule of thumb is to get a hoop that is as tall as your belly button. Weighted hoops are preferable for adults, as the weight allows for easier hooping. As your hoop skills improve, you can move to smaller and lighter hoops. I have an adjustable travel hoop that allows me to connect six pieces for a large hoop and five for a smaller hoop.

The hula hoop can work more than just the core - with deliberate practice, you can use the hoop to work arms, legs, and practically any part of the body. The equipment is minimal, but the one thing I will add is that if you your plan on hooping indoors, be sure to clear plenty of space as my hoop uses up at least seven square feet of space.

Don't be discouraged if you aren't a pro-hooper at the first go! It took me several months to simply get the hoop going and keep it going. I still can't do tricks, but I can move the hoop up and down my body, ensuring a great workout.

There are some great hooping resources on the web - initially, I got into hooping after seeing clips of Marawa the Amazing (as seen below). I was looking for fun ways to bring my workouts indoors and her YouTube clips inspired me to include hooping in my workouts. For other great hoop resources, check these out:

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