Hula hooping isn’t just a kid’s pastime: it’s a fun cardio workout, burning approximately 153 calories in just 30 minutes! It’s a good enough cardio workout that you can get results but gentle enough that you can keep hooping all the way into your third trimester.
Hula hooping 10 minutes a day for a month can even trim down your waistline by two inches! Admittedly, if you’re working to get in shape before your pregnancy, your waistline will be expanding beyond those two inches you whittled down. But hula hooping provides benefits besides just your waist. Besides, it’s fun to approach cardio as, well, FUN! Rather than a drudgery.
Not only does hooping help to tone your waist, it also tones your hips and butt while strengthening your knees. Your knees are going to be withstanding strain due to the extra weight your pregnancy will naturally bring. Therefore, it is important to make sure your knees are prepared.
You can also move the hoop up to your chest to work chest muscles. Hoop it around your thighs to tone your inner and outer thighs. Or work the hoop around your arms for arm definition.
Besides helping you lose weight, hula hooping increases energy level and spine flexibility. Hula hoop quickly, and it works as an aerobic exercise. It’s also a great mood improver—there’s no way not to have fun while you’re hooping! Hooping is a low-impact exercise, making it a good workout for those needing to give their bodies a brief break from heavy workouts.
When purchasing a hula hoop, make sure you take time to pick the right one. When you place the hoop on the floor, it should stand from bellybutton to chest height. Buy a weighted hoop (3-5 lbs.) for ultimate workout results. Believe it or not, it’s much easier to hoop with a heavier hoop than a lighter one! However, if you are farther along in your pregnancy, such as in your second and especially in your third trimester, you should choose a lighter hoop.
Hoops come in many different designs and colors. Pick one which reflects your personality the best to have more fun hooping! You can find hoops at your local Wal-Mart or sport store, or shop online. Check out Sports Hoop or Canyon Hoops.
Be creative! Mix up your routine and try hooping all over, instead of just focusing on your waist. Try walking around while hula hooping or even try slow squats for a demanding thigh and ab workout. Try hooping with several hoops. You can even take hula hoop classes, hula hooping along with videos, or taking dance hula hooping. Or just turn on some music and hoop to the beat.
Hula hooping is a cardio workout you can continue into pregnancy, too! You might want to get a bigger hoop, and consider switching to a lighter weight. While it may be awkward to get used to as your belly starts getting bigger, you will help your balance improve and help you to become more in-tuned with the changes in your body.
[Disclaimer: Read this introduction before you begin any exercise program.]
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