- Hooping: Hooping will always be my number one workout. It's low-impact, interesting, and you probably won't break a sweat with it unless you're getting really crazy. That's part of the fun: it's entirely customizable. You can just stand in front of the TV with it revolving around your waist, or for a little more of a workout you can use it on your arms by rolling it over the back of your hand with your arm held out to the side or in front of you. There's also a crazy amount of creative leeway, in that there are hundreds of different tricks you can learn. My favorites are using it on my hips or thighs instead of waist, over my head with my hands (this move being aptly called the Halo or Lasso) while alternating between my right and left hands, passing it from hand to hand in front of my midsection and around my back in a circle, and the aptly named "booty bump," which I don't think needs much explanation. If you're planning on working out your torso with a hoop, leave the poof aside for now and go for a tanktop and shorts - Victoria Suzanne pointed out to me and I agree that the less clothing you're wearing, the easier hooping seems to be. As far as effectiveness goes, I'm famous among my friends for swearing up and down that I saw improvements in my waist after only ten minutes of hooping (dammit, I did!), but hooping is really great for working out your torso and legs just by using it around your waist, and it's really easy to target specific areas, too - just hoop with them!
- Dance: Of course - this one should be obvious. I danced for a good portion of my life and my entire childhood, and it was only because of skeletal problems that I stopped at all - it was too hard on my knees and hips, and I have bad genetics as far as joint pain go which weren't helped by an accident as a child. However, I know plenty of people who've had amazing results with ballet, jazz, or tap. It not only works your muscles, it is varied on levels on intensity, so you can take a beginnger level ballet class once a week or turn to dance-themed exercise programs a few minutes a day (I know a lot people who've had great success with both). Not interested in your standard regime? Try ballroom dancing, or if you're feeling exotic, bellydance is a fun but very challenging alternative. Similarly, gymnasitcs or tumbling are also wonderful if you can find a really good class/studio.
- Video games: I know, I know, video games are villainized as contributing to the obesity epidemic here in America (which I don't argue with at all) - however, for years companies have been trying to get gamers up and moving, with varied results. While games like those offered on Wii Fit are criticized as being repetitive and boring, the ultimate and first fitness game I've seen is and always will be Dance Dance Revolution. It's so effective and fun, in fact, that there are schools in America (specifically in West Virginia schools; Caltech also supports it, even counting it as a PE alternative) and Norway it's even been registered as an official sport! I know family members who've used DDR to substitute a more structured exercise regime and have lost eight to ten pounds after a month with no over changes to their activity levels and diets. Wikipedia even says that people have purportedly lost a max of 85-150+ pounds! It's also fun, satisfying, and competitive, which is something that all weight loss regimes strive for.
There are really so many fun, captivating ways to exercise - just get creative and you'll realize there's really a lot more to it than lifting weights or doing crunches - clearly evident from the length of this post, and these are just the things that I myself have found to work! After writing this, I think I'll talk about ways to lolify your healthy food selections in another post.
So, girls, what do you do to keep in shape?
(image care of we heart it)