Like most people, right now, my activities are limited. It seems like all I do is eat or exercise–and my scale tells me that I've been doing more eating than exercising. And after months of being stuck at home, my fitness routine is in desperate need of change. I usually run or walk, but both have gotten unbearably boring. So when I heard Carla Hall squeal about her weighted hula hoop, I stopped to listen.
Carla Hall has recently been making time for “recess” on Instagram Live. Basically, she leads a simple workout every day for thousands of her followers on Instagram. If you watch a few of them, you’ll notice pretty quickly that she LOVES her weighted hula hoop. She’ll hoop no matter what she’s wearing–she hoops in a dress and sneakers and hoops in jeans and heels. These hula-hooping posts drip with joy, so I had to get my own.
Pure coincidence led me to the exact same weighted hoop as Carla’s–and it’s amazing. I'm accustomed to lightweight hoops, but this one weighs two pounds and I can feel the difference. It isn’t a lot of weight, but it's enough to help raise my heart rate and engage my core muscles. I wasn't concerned about bruising from the hoop, but if you are, it has foam padding to protect your waist and hips.
Product details aside, this is just a fun way to work out–it's just as fun as an adult as it was when I was eight. I could (and want to) do it for hours—which is the biggest challenge with this hoop—and when I'm trapped at home watching TV for months at a time (hello, winter!), finding a fun way to move is priceless.
But I also like it for two unexpected reasons: 1) It came in pieces (assembly is easy; the pieces snap together). That means the size is adjustable (to a degree), but it also makes it portable. (I know we’re not doing a lot of traveling right now, but having a portable workout kit will come in handy in the future. I hope.) 2) It came with a jump rope. If you haven’t tried jumping rope in a while, it’s great. At a leisurely skip (not boxing gym speed), sweat starts to pool under me in less than 10 minutes, which is great for a quick dose of cardio.
Hoops for adults is officially my new favorite living room activity. I don't know if it will help with weight loss—according to the Mayo Clinic, you can burn about 165 calories for a half-hour of hooping (and more than 400 calories jumping rope). However, I'm using muscles I don't normally engage, which makes me feel physically fit without fitness classes—and that's all I'm really after.