100 days challenge,  Anxiety / Mental Health,  Slimming world journey

My favourite way to exercise

First things first, I do not like exercising. I do it because I struggle with my weight and it helps with my weight loss. If I had my way I would never exercise other than walking and the occasional swim, and by occasional swim i mean a leisurely swim, nothing strenuous, ok I mean I’d like to float in a pool, preferably with a cold beer in my hand.

So yeah. I have tried many kinds of exercise over the years and they have all been awful.

Running – hurts my knees.

Swimming for any length of time – I don’t like going pruney.

Exercise dvd – no willpower to do it everyday, i would rather sit on the sofa and watch Love Island

Step Class – now this I do enjoy if I go with a friend as we can just muck about and have a laugh but it involves leaving my house, paying and feeling super fat in front of all the beautiful gym bunnies.

I could go on but you get the idea.

Over the last 6 months I have been doing Slimming World and now Weight Watchers and follow loads of awesome Instagram accounts (that will be another post) but one in particular , Dani, had lots of videos of her hula hooping. It looked so much fun, she is amazing at it and she did something called Danis Hooping Challenge, she has details on her instagram highlights for anyone wanting more details. Now when I first saw I assumed it was just a normal hoop like you have at school but after researching and asking around I found out it is actually a weighted hoop. I got mine from Amazon, there are loads available but I chose this one https://amzn.to/2K4G0ve

It arrived quickly and I built it with ease, it comes in sections that you can adjust depending upon you height. An ideal height is for it to come to your belly button from the floor.

I had a go and I couldn’t do it. I tried again, and again and again. I literally could not get it to stay up for more than 5 seconds. I tried every single day multiple times for about 3 weeks, during this time I got some of the worst bruising imaginable on my stomach. Bruising is really common but not to the extent that I had. I have a picture of it when it wasn’t at its worst just here, it got a lot darker and spread over my whole hip area. Please excuse my stretch marks and underpants.

What I didn’t know was that when you are first starting out with a weighted hoop you are supposed to do it for maybe 1-2 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week to get your body used to it because it is heavy and it is literally just crashing into your body over and over on the same spot. I was doing it for 5-10 mins 2-3 times a day everyday for 2 weeks and that’s what caused such bad bruising. I couldn’t walk properly, I couldn’t sleep, it was so painful so I definitely advise starting slow. Since the bruising has gone I haven’t bruised since which is apparently very common.

After about 3 weeks I was ready to give up and just sell the hoop but I thought I would give it one more go and something just clicked. I kept the hoop up. Not just for a minute but for 5 minutes. Then the next day I did 10, now I do around 15 minutes a day while I’m watching TV and I absolutely love it. It is fun, its rewarding, I’m trying to learn tricks about hooping while doing squats and the best thing is it doesn;t feel like exercise. It has helped with my anxiety too as I can completly switch off while I am doing it, my mind goes clear and I feel really calm.

I really recommend it for anyone who feels like their just isn’t a way of exercising for them, I hate exercising but I love hula hooping, my kids even asked for their own normal hoops so they can practice with mummy which is super cute.

I will be looking at getting a dance hoop once we move house so that I can do the more circus kind of tricks and stunts. You can also get heavier ones that the one I have linked if you feel this is too light or you just want more of a work out.

If you are curious then be sure to follow Dani on instagram above and also me if you fancy as I do hooping videos on my stories when I’m feeling brave.

thanks so much for reading, let me know your favourite way to exercise in the comments below.

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