“Don’t think about making life better for other people who don’t even deserve you, rather, focus on making your life the best, for yourself and those who love you.” – C. JoyBell C.
DO it! I decided to take up hula hooping for my first ever 30-day challenge. The 30 days are over, therefore, I’ve decided to let you know why I did it, where to get one if you want to do the same and how to get started.
- Health. My mother and my sister both struggle with back pain. I have seen how debilitating it can be and I am lucky enough to not have suffered from it… YET! I looked up online how to avoid getting lower back pain as you grow older and one of the suggestions (along with many others, such as don’t sit at an office desk for 8 hours a day – easier said than done) was to take up hula hooping! Hula hooping moves your spinal chord in a way that we don’t usually move it in our day to day lives and therefore allows us to stretch it, strengthen it and make it more flexible. I can’t think of a more fun spine strengthening exercise than hula hooping. So, hopefully I can try to avoid any back pain in the future, or at least put it off for a few years.
- Abs. I’ve always been a firm believer in making exercise fun. I can never just lie in one spot and do 50 sit ups, it’s boring, it hurts and I don’t like it. I refuse to get a gym membership because I can’t think of anything more mind-numbing. Any exercise I take part in has to be something I enjoy doing. I did ballet my whole life and I found it was such a wonderful way to keep fit while having the most fun ever. Now, I go for brisk walks as a form of cardio, because I get to explore while exercising (have you seen my post all about the wonderful areas I’ve explored while living in Santiago?). And I’ve started hula hooping to try and firm up my tummy… it’s working so far! Hula hooping is supposed to be a full body work out, now, I don’t think I’ll get a 6 pack from it, but working my stomach muscles once a day is better than not working them at all… (Science, I know!)
- Happiness. What better way to start the day than hula hoop for 10 minutes. What I have been doing is putting the kettle on and hula hooping for 5 minutes, then pouring my tea and putting on my porridge and while the tea brews and my porridge is cooking, I’ll hula hoop for another 5. Then you’re done, you’re tea is ready (and perfect strength) and you’ve basically started the day dancing!
I bought my weighted hula hoop from Amazon. I bought the 1.5 kg one and it’s 100 cm wide (which is suited to my height of 5’9″ – I researched online and they’re supposed to be about as tall as your waist). And it cost €30, which might seem steep but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a gym membership or even to go to a yoga class everyday. It also comes with a DVD with other workouts you can do incorporating a hula hoop (which I’m yet to use… But I’m going to start using it very soon as the dreaded bikini months are looming!)
It’s recommended that you hoop for 10-20 minutes a day. At the beginning however, you must ease yourself into it. Remember, your waist isn’t used to carrying any weight on it at all so the hula hoop can cause bruising if you use it for too long at the beginning. For week 1, you should only use it for 1-3 minutes a day and for week 2, you should only use it for 3-5 minutes a day and then from week 3 onward you can build up to 10 minutes a day. It’s not recommended that you use the hula hoop for any longer than 10 minutes at a time and you shouldn’t exceed 20 minutes in a day. So what I’ve been doing is 10 minutes in the morning and every now and then I’ll do another 10 minutes while watching Netflix in the evening.