I have had lots of people say to me that ‘Dancing must keep you fit’ … which to a degree it does, but I don’t train day in and day out so ‘keeping fit’ needs to happen away from dancing also. I’ve tried running … it doesn’t like me 😛 I enjoy HIIT workouts but never seem to find the time, and when it comes to going out to a fitness class in the evening, at the moment, I just find I’m not getting to do it! So … fast forward to finding the super inspirational Beata Varga via a Facebook post – a Hula Hoop Artiste & Instructor. I got a hoop and signed up to her 40day challenge, watching daily videos on how to hoop, learning tricks as I go. I am almost through 30 days of it and let me tell you, I COULD NOT keep the hoop going on day 1 and if I even attempted to turn around whilst hooping it would drop to the floor and I’d have a paddy! Haha! 30 days in and I’m hooping for as long as I want, I am turning, dipping my hands into the hoop whilst it’s spinning, I’m grabbing it whilst spinning it and lassoing it around my head (admittedly smacking myself in the head 3 times and almost taking out my light fitting in my lounge but hey, minor details!) I am confidently taking steps and hooping, stretching high and hooping, texting on my phone and checking my emails whilst hooping – I CAN HOOP!!!! I also … drop it, can’t do some moves as easy as others, give up on some moves until another day but I pick the hoop up whenever I can whether it’s for 2 minutes or 20 minutes and I am improving day by day! I asked Bee to explain more about this fantastic form of exercise and how she can help others to learn it too!
The perfect workout for beginners – Bee Varga
“Often people watch me perform on stage & think hulahooping is something I started as a child or at least I had a gymnastics background. Well, they could not be further from the truth. It was back in 2008 when from a completely sedentary lifestyle & a size 14 body I transformed myself to a size 8 hulahooper & never looked back.
My Story –maybe you can relate to this, too
It was a period of stress, deadlines, work, studies ( I was a student at the British School of Osteopathy) when I developed stabbing upper back pain. Studying part time on top of work & commute really left very little time for self-care & I was still willing to try my best to push myself to perform well & give work & studies my best while neglecting my physical & mental needs. It does catch up though…Even though I was just sitting all day I felt tired all the time & the pounds just piled on.
It felt like I need to do something new so I got myself a toyshop hulahoop which I could not keep up…so I decided exercise is not for me haha!
Then I had to find out that I am not to blame, it is the hoop! When we grow up, we wear bigger clothes, ride a larger bike or fit in a bigger swing… Anyway, I found a bigger, heavier hulahoop & it stayed up! Suddenly something fun entered my life that was also doable: no need to book a class & drive anywhere & get changed & be there for time. Hooping can be done in any clothing so if all I had was 5 minutes to stand up from the computer, I could crack on & hoop away those 5 minutes.
Understand the health benefits –there’s more to it than you’d think
It took me 6 months to go down from size 14 to size 8! Found myself hooping every day whenever I had a few minutes. I enjoyed life, had an abundance of energy & never felt better about myself. First time in life I was looking forward to exercise!!! My studies really helped me understand what was happening: hooping is actually a lot more complex when it is about health benefits than what it looks like. It is a cardiovascular workout of course BUT it is gentle on the joints with no repetitive strain because the moves & tricks are so varied. So if someone is older or larger or has joint problems this may be the Holy Grail to keep fit without doing any damage. It also encourages the individual to establish a better posture: your hoop will respond to every move you make and will make you stand tall & graceful in order to keep it up. It applies pressure on the skin which means a free massage while you are working out! This massage causes erythema which is a term used to describe the redness of the skin when it is rubbed or massaged. It means better circulation of blood to that area but toxins & waste products get mobilised & enter the circulation to be dealt with & eliminated so a reduction in cellulite may be noticed very quickly after one starts hooping regularly. This massage boosts delivery of nutrition to your cells so you get more keratin & elastin that help to get the skin appear firmer and younger. It also massages the underlying organs, so stimulates digestion by gently applying pressure in a rhythmic fashion which encourages better peristaltic movement. So hooping can boost your metabolism which usually slows down as we age and become more sedentary…The pressure a hoop applies on the skin triggers muscles to contract to protect underlying structures: which means the muscles tense up instinctively where the hoop travels so that the bones, organs, etc. do not get damaged. Like if you were about to receive a punch in the stomach & you tense up – that is the sort of tension I am talking about but the hoop feels a lot nicer than a punch… 🙂 This contraction of muscles will last as long as your workout. So if you hoop for 30 minutes, your muscles will keep working super hard throughout which burns lots of energy & improves skin tone.
Family is no longer an excuse –quality play time for the whole family
It happens that we get enthusiastic about fitness & health so we start a new diet & sign up for a gym membership or join classes then when we get absolutely overwhelmed with all the things we need to fit into our day & our newly found passion about our health & fitness slowly deteriorates as results come slowly & efforts are just too exhausting. Hulahooping is something that you could do with your children, playing together & getting fit suddenly becomes possible & fun. You will not only get to fit in time for your own workout but you are giving your children quality time that they will never forget while setting a good example. Enjoy a lovely bond playing together & being active & having a great giggle. My daughter and her friends love hooping with me & think I am the coolest mum ever…although I am just keen to keep fit lol
Getting Started –you need very little to start hooping…Get a hulahoop for beginner adults: I recommend this one: https://amzn.to/2HTOqpt
The bigger the hoop the easier it is to keep it up – that is why a kids’ toyshop hoop may not stay up, you will need something larger & heavier than that. A big hoop goes slower and it is also heavier so you can feel it better and it beats you up better to trigger muscle contraction for weight management.
Then you need to find some space to spin. When I started off I used the garden & when the weather got worse I moved furniture around in the living room. If you are a gym member you may as well find plenty of space on the gym floor or in the studio. In a matter of days you will notice an increase in stamina & general well-being and you may as well learn a couple of fancy tricks. On my website there is a FREE 40 day hulahoop Challenge with lots of tutorials so you can watch entire workouts anywhere & learn and play: https://www.beevarga.com
Grab any single opportunity to hoop when you feel drained, overworked, low. Life is serious enough, at least when you are keeping fit you should have fun & with a hulahoop you will be fit & entertained for life!
The fitter you get the more you can achieve & even though I have been hooping for years now, I am still learning new things so I think it is safe to say it never ceases to be entertaining or physically challenging.
Good luck on your hoopy adventures playing yourself firm, fit & happy!
Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link. This is not linked to Beauty and The Ballroom but is linked to Beata Varga.
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