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Entries in fitness hooping (2)


Week 4 Well Together Challenge: Final Hooping Video

Well maybe not forever final, but my last for the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care blogger challenge with Michele from A Yummy Mommy! It was a very very tough weekend with the Sandy Hook School tragedy. It's one of those things that you don't want to think about but you have to because they are us. As parents, you can't not have your heart shatter. I've vowed to pray for schools and for children everywhere to be protected from violence. That's a tall order but I know I'm joining countless others who are also taking this vow.

The hooping was therapeutic and filming it pulled me out of a sad funk. Reflecting on these past four weeks of hooping, I'll admit I've come a long way. I haven't been able to devote hours a day to practice or else I might be further along. But I'll also admit that if I weren't doing this for a sponsored blogger challenge, I probably would've given up by Week 2! It definitely wasn't easy or natural to learn and I got plenty of bruises; see pic at right just from filming the video below.

As adults, I think we get comfortable in our ways and branch out less, especially with activities that are far beyond our everyday realm. Consider how many New Year's resolutions we make and break; maybe we don't have a strong enough reason to follow through? Having accountability through this public blog and Michele and a contract with Harvard Pilgrim forced me to keep going, and I'm glad I did because the hooping finally grew on me and I plan to keep at it. Mentally I'm stronger too, after pushing through insecurities and frustration at lack of progress. Peeking at Michele's inspiring post this week, it looks like she had similar thoughts about the benefits of accountability. In the video below, I used several moves from a beginner's YouTube video by Hoop Fusion. It combines a few easy tricks with toning exercises. The great thing about hooping is that you become so focused on keeping the hoop up and trying again and again that before you know it, you've spent 30-60 minutes exercising!

I'd encourage you to challenge yourself. Find something that you want to accomplish but that will take some stretching and discomfort to get there. Most importantly have strong accountability to someone who will see you to the end and maybe a special incentive or reward waiting for you. I guarantee that you won't regret it, and you'll walk away with greater self-confidence to do even more unusual and awesome things!

Disclosure: I've partnered with Harvard Pilgrim onthis sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well at HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn


Week 2 Well Together Challenge: Hooping for Digestive Health

It's Week 2 of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care's Well Together Challenge with Michele from A Yummy Mommy. I loved her first post that describes Zumba-ing with her 4-year-old! What a great way to fit in family time with an upbeat exercise experience. Be sure to check her most recent post this week.

On my end, as I continued to practice hooping I realized there's no way I'll master the fancy tricks in just three more weeks. So some different types of hooping videos caught my eye, one by Jocelyn Gordon, an effervescent Hoopnotica instructor. She focused on waist hooping and how it acts as a massage for the internal organs, specifically the colon, which can help promote digestive health, or, ahem, regularity. It makes sense as waist hooping places constant pressure on the abdominal muscles to contract and relax areas near the colon (and small bowel if you hoop higher on the waist), which helps move things along!

I'd wanted to concentrate more on toning the abs anyway, so the video below incorporates Jocelyn's ideas: opening the chest, contracting, leaning to one side, etc. It doesn't look like much but if you try it you'll feel the challenge of changing upper body positions while keeping the hoop moving around your waist. You can also spin faster for deeper muscle intensity, especially if you're using a weighted hoop. These movements are good for novices like me and feel like a massage even though you're getting in some serious toning! If you do it regularly, you might want to alternate hooping in the opposite direction so you don't strain one side.

This past week I was really cranky so it was harder to remember gratitude. I so need a day where I can climb into bed and stay buried under the covers...the whole day, with no thoughts and no expectations! One thing that got me going, and that has always helped without fail, is music. I had to prepare for my Zumba classes so the iPod went on. Not that everything gets better but music just takes you to a different place...outside of yourself and the pettiness. Sometimes that's the nudge you need to move forward. I'm grateful for those nudges!

Disclosure: I've partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well at HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn.