Saturday, 5 July 2014


I'd been thinking for a few months about a fun but effective exercise that I could easily motivate myself to get up and do almost every day in order to try and get a bit fitter. I used to swim competitively, but ever since giving up about three years ago, those delicious but fattening chocolate bars have gradually been finding their way to my hips and bum. I tried going to the gym to try and regain my swimmer's physique, but I just found it too awkward and near on impossible to motivate myself to go. I tried cycling too, but it hurts my bum too much if I cycle for more than about half an hour! So on the 17th May, I decided to dig out my old childhood hula hoop from the depths of the garage and give it a go.

I was astounded by how many health benefits there are of hula hooping for fitness when I first Googled it. This activity strengthens your core whilst, at the same time, blasting the fat around this middle area. It also helps to improve spine flexibility, so it's great for bad backs. It also helps with hand-eye coordination and motor skills, as you have to time your body's movements in order to maintain the motion of the hoop around your body. Hula hooping also gets your heart rate up pretty high because of the continuous, rapid movements when you shift your weight from one foot to the other to keep the hoop up. Plus, an intense hour-long session of hula hooping can burn up to 400 calories! So, yeah, it's a pretty amazing form of exercise!

My experience:

After just one week of hula hooping for an hour each day (with a few squats and lunges thrown in there to help tone my bum area!), I noticed some pretty awesome results. I lost an inch from my waist, a centimetre from my hips, and a centimetre from my thighs (basically just the circumference around the widest bit at the top of my thighs). These are my biggest problem areas when it comes to the extra flab, so I was unbelievably chuffed with those results. About five days into my new regime, I distinctly remember getting ready for a bath, looking down and being like, "Wow, hold on a sec… where the heck did all the fat around my hips go?!?!" I could actually see with my own eyes a reduction in the amount of fat around my hips, and I was just on a massive high for the rest of the day because I could really see my body changing.

After the second week, I noticed less of a difference - kinda like on The Biggest Loser TV show, when the results from the second week are almost always less than the first week. I only lost a centimetre from my waist and a half centimetre from my hips and thighs. Still, any loss, no matter how small, is better than no loss at all. I then had exams for a few weeks and literally couldn't find any time to hula hoop between them all (damn you, Philosophy A Level!). And then once my exams were finished, I was suuuuuper busy… Okay, I basically just went shopping a lot (as a reward to myself for finishing all my exams!) - but hey, shopping is tiring, so it should definitely be classed as exercise! I've also had a lot of family things recently, and I've slacked off a bit on the exercise front, but I really wanna try and get back into the swing of things as they were when I first started hooping, and try and blast the last of the fat before I go on holiday!

I also thought it might be useful to share the kinds of things I eat as part of my diet. Note: when I say diet, I don't mean diet diet (like the Atkins diet, or whatnot), I mean just what I like to eat on a daily basis to accompany my new hula hooping lifestyle! Anyway, there'll be more details about this in a follow-up post next week. Be sure to look out for it!

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