Why Is Having Fun Important To Staying Fit?

Hula hooping in organic apparel

I have a super fun idea to keep you healthy and happy through the holidays..

It’s simple. Hula-Hoop. YES, you can.

So why Hula-Hoop? Because the idea is silly and it makes me laugh… plus, it WORKS!

A while back a doctor of mine told me if you do what you enjoy to stay in shape you’ll stick with it.

Not feeling particularly athletic at the time, I had to really think about what it was I enjoyed.

As it turned out there were a lot of things that interested me; horses, running on a treadmill, Rollerblading with my dog, martial arts, walking in the neighborhood to name a few.

And yes, Hula-Hooping as well! I do it at least once a week for twenty minutes and get a great workout on my waist and bum.

Before you say, “I could never do that!” I ASSURE you I am a living, breathing Gumby; stiff and awkward in my movements. So, if I can, YOU can.

A quick lesson: While holding the hula hoop (I use a 36” diameter) around your waist stand with your feet about 18” +/- apart depending on your size with your weight distributed evenly. Then step your right foot forward one foot-length. This is the stance for going to the RIGHT.

Now… get your hoop started by a. swiveling it to the right, while b. gently moving your hips forward and back c. keeping your knees straight without locking them and d. your behind tightened but not stiff.

It may take you several tries in the beginning BUT, the key to success is having your RIGHT foot forward when you hoop to the right. And, your LEFT foot forward when you hoop to the left. This helps the hips motion properly and complement the direction you want to go.

Doing this 20 minutes per week (10 minutes each way non-stop) is what I do (usually while watching the news) and it can be a fun supplement to your other workouts, too. You may even get sore the first couple of times, so, consider stretching your hamstrings out before and after.

Some people love hiking, or yoga or working in the garden. Yes, you can get a great workout doing yard work when you’re mindful about the movements you make and how you move your body.

And the great thing about having a go-to list of things you love to do, is that you’re not at the mercy of the weather. When it’s too hot or too cold, you can treadmill, wrestle with your pup or hula-hoop indoors. When it’s beautiful outside you can hike, bike, blade or tend to your garden.

Also, another reason you’ll be able to stick with it is that your workouts can be 20–40 minutes including drive time. It may not sound like much, but doing this a few times a week will help you stand taller, be more aware of the foods you eat and just generally improve your outlook on your health and happiness.

PLUS, this approach is far healthier (and will leave you happier) than trying to make up for it with one killer day at the gym that lands you on the sofa too sore to move.

Now, go experiment. Pull out that Hula-Hoop. Dust off your Rollerblades (and pads) and have FUN! It’s one of the best things you can do to improve your health. And if you have any questions or concerns about what’s best for you, be sure to run it by your healthcare professional. Safety first!

I can’t wait to hear what your workouts are like. Please don’t let the conversation stop here and share your go to fun ideas in the comments below.

In the meantime, I am most definitely in your corner…


photo credit: Guus Krol via photopin cc

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