Work It

Hula Hoop Your Way to a Fitter You

Let me start off by saying I’m not a very active person. I’m in my 20s and my day off includes lying in my bed for three hours with my laptop on my stomach and then taking 4 steps to my desk and spending the rest of the day there while my laptop charges. When I realize I should get off my lazy butt and see something else besides a computer screen, it’s to fetch the hula hoop I have stashed behind my headboard.

In elementary school, I would spend my recess either inside helping my teachers or in the shade with a hula hoop. I used to tell my parents I wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for hula hooping. I am completely serious; take off that judging look!

My friend who lives nearby has a Wii Fit and when I visit, I love doing the games and reading how many calories they burn. On the hula hoop games, it once said 30 minutes of “hooping” equates to burning quite a bit of calories – that’s enough inspiration for me.

Now, for the actual workout! I usually turn my television on to a show I love, but could easily rewatch, so The Daily Show, Colbert Report, or reruns of Mad Men feature heavily. I wait until the show starts and start hula hooping. I usually just keep my arms up above my head or just straight out in front of me, a la zombie pose. No one can see me therefore no judgement is passed.

When a commercial break comes up, depending on my mood and how energized I feel, I either keep going or take a break and lift some weights. When I say “lift some weights,” I mean a three-pound dumbbell, because my arms are ridiculously weak. I usually do waist twists (or whatever they’re called. I call them “twisters”), and a stretch that involves reaching over my head and leaning to one side for a certain numbers of repetitions. Again, I’m not a very athletic person, but I watch YouTube exercise videos and see that one often.

Another one I might throw in is the “plank.” Don’t worry, it’s not the overdone internet meme you’ve all done. This is when you’re on the floor and hold yourself up using your forearms and your toes like this. The most common combo I do during TV/hula hoop time is hula hooping during the show, with a side of “planking” during the commercial breaks. In my reasoning, I’m working the abdominals and building arm strength. Balance, right? Right!

Overall, my lazy (almost childish), workout has worked for me. The last time I went to see my doctor, the nurse asked if I exercised and when I told her what I did, she said, “Good job! Whatever helps you to do it!”

I suggest we all go and get a $7 hula hoop and use it while watching some TV! After all, the girls during the 1950s and 1960s were dancing and hula hooping their way into tiny-waisted dresses, we should be able to as well. I just hope I don’t end up like Betty Draper and eat my daughter’s leftover chocolate sundae.

Image via shutterstock

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