Until just a few months ago I never thought I would consider hooping for health.  When WhamO introduced the Hula Hoop back in the 50s I’m sure they saw it as a great game or past time but not a way to lose serious inches.  With the re-discovery of this 60+ year old toy it has skyrocketed in popularity as an exercise tool that there are parties, classes and even people who make the hoops out of irrigation pipe in their garage.  

My daughter had been gunning for a hula hoop for quite some time and finally we gave in and bought her one.  I saw how in a few weeks her little torso was showing signs of defined musculature and it got me thinking, “HMMM, maybe I should try this for myself.”  I felt dejected and depressed when I tried to hoop with her little hoop and couldn’t keep it up for more than about 3 revolutions.  So I decided to do some research and it turns out I wasn’t able to do it because her hoop is not an adult size hoop.  An experienced hooper could probably use her hoop no problem, but I had a heck of a time with it.  

I thought  I’d try making a hoop of my own since the hoops I was looking at were quite expensive, for me, at a price of $30 or more.  Yes they were pretty and weighted, but I really couldn’t justify paying that much for a hoop that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep spinning for more than 30 seconds ever.  One day to my delight I came into a bit of money for helping a couple people troubleshoot PC problems so I went to Wal-Mart and bought  myself a heavy hoop.  It is a Danskin foam covered, 2.5 lb. fitness hoop.  It came in 6 pieces and made a 38″ diameter hoop.  According to “experts” it was still about 3″ smaller than I should have been getting for my size, but I was determined to make it work.

When I got it out of the package it seemed flimsy and it worried me that once put together it sagged when I held it to my back.  I thought, “Great.  You get what you pay for.”  Well I soon discovered that this movement between the pieces would not hinder my learning or my ability to exercise with the hoop.  I watched the video included in the box.  It was short and sweet and gave me some pointers on how to hoop properly.  Turns out I had been trying too hard.  I was moving all the wrong ways!

Today my hips hurt.  Not my normal I’m-crooked-so-my-hips-hurt pain, but a I-just-did-1300-revolutions-with-my-heavy-hoop kind of ache.  That kind of pain feels good.  I can feel it in my abs and up my sides and even in my calves.  Just try it and you’ll understand what I mean.  Good grief even my shoulders and upper arms get some workout since I have to keep them out of the way.  It has been a few weeks since I’ve hooped and I was totally surprised I was able to do 1300 revolutions without dropping it! My highest success without dropping before yesterday was 637.  I never thought I’d reach my little girls record of 1279 much less surpass it!  If the darned teapot hadn’t started whistling I would have kept going.  I guess I’ve gotten sucked into the heavy hooping for health craze.

I am definitely trying to lose weight, but overall I want to improve my heart health.  I want to make it strong so I’ll last long.