Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How to Get Fit Without Spending Hours in the Gym

(Health and Fitness), There's no debating the fact that in addition to watching what you eat, the best way to stay healthy and fit is to get plenty of exercise. So why is it that so many Americans have such a tough time doing it? Among the most popular excuses: "I don't have time," "I don't know what to do," "I'm too tired at the end of the day." You don't hear your kids making those kinds of excuses.

Hula Hoop

They get plenty of exercise and have fun doing it. But how can you make something as tedious as working out fun? Instead of heading to the gym and using the machines, which can be more of a chore than a fun activity, try taking up sports hula hooping.

Ten minutes worth of vigorously wiggling your hips and moving around can burn off 110 calories, which is about as much as you'd burn if walking an eight-minute mile. But burning calories quickly isn't the only benefit the activity offers.

It also promotes correct body alignment from the circular motions and proper posture in the upper body, which explains why it has become so popular in fitness clubs across the country. Substitute that light, plastic hula hoop your kids play with for a weighted one like the Acu Hoop offered by California's Sports Hoop, Inc., and you can get even more health benefits.

When swiveled for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, weighted sports hoops can provide cardiovascular benefits, help tone muscles, burn calories and fat and facilitate weight loss. Do it religiously every day, and you can trim your waist 2 inches and lose 4 pounds every month until fit. Weighted hoops come in a variety of styles and sizes, ranging from 1 to 6 pounds in weight.

No matter which one you choose to use, here's how to get started:

1) Find enough space around you. Keep your feet one foot wide. Relax your knees, waist and body.

2) Relax your elbows. Lift the hoop and place it tightly against the back of your waist.

3) Grasp the hoop and keep it in a horizontal position before swinging out. Do not position the hoop at a tilt.

4) Horizontally swing out the hoop against your waist, fast and powerfully. Move your waist immediately.

5) Move your waist in a circular motion, all around pressing against the hoop.

6) Keep your motion fast enough to match the circulation speed of the hoop for it to stay up on your waist.

These rings are so much fun to use that it's hard to stop. But overuse in the first few days can result in muscle soreness and even mild bruising. Use the ring for no more than one or two minutes per day, for the first three or four days, then increase the time as you become more comfortable with the ring.

If you overdo it, however, the soreness should go away within a few days of regular use. It is estimated there are now more than one million people throughout the world using Sports Hoops as their major waist-trimming fitness equipment.

For more information on the weighted hoops offered by California Sports Hoop, Inc., or to place an order, visit www.sports-hoop.com or call toll free (866) 700-5668.

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