Was That Really Exercise?

On Monday night, I was feeling energetic and restless, so I figured it was a good time to exercise. I didn’t want to push myself too hard, considering I hadn’t done a hard workout since June 18th. Yeah, I’m a slacker.

I figured I’d start by jumping rope for a while. I purchased a jump rope several months ago but had only used it once. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of reference to workouts incorporating jump ropes. I figured it couldn’t be too hard.

But it was!

After a minute and a half of straight jump roping, I was hot and sweaty (though it probably didn’t help that it was 85 degrees outside!). I decided I would take my workout indoors where it was a bit cooler and the neighbors couldn’t see me being a wimp.

When I walked downstairs to my “workout room,” I spotted my hula hoop; for the record, this has been a popular topic in the exercise realm lately, too. I made my hula hoop about a year ago after reading about fitness hooping, but haven’t used it much. It was time to give it a whirl.

I learned that hula hooping was as easy as it had been when I was 6 years old and able to spin the hoop around my then teeny waist for up to an hour at a time. See, we had contests for this kind of thing in our neighborhood and I always won!

On the spot, I devised a workout plan of my own. I would use the hula hoop as a jump rope to get my heart rate up, and then I would hula hoop until it was lower and I was ready to ramp up the heart rate again. I did this for 30 minutes and worked up a sweat. I also made sure to hold my abs in when hooping because the hoop twirled better without my gut in the way.

While I was hooping (doing the hula?), I remembered that I wanted to see how fast I could run. I jumped on the treadmill and ran as fast as I could for a half mile. When I thought I would die or fall off the treadmill, I brought the pace back down to a brisk walk and upped the incline at intervals. Then, when I was feeling strong again, I lowered the incline back to 1% (I always use a minimum of one; the fitness experts say it simulates walking/running outside) and bumped up the pace again. I jogged a mile and a half at my usual pace.

When all was said and done, I had spent an hour and ten minutes having fun (was that really exercise?)! According to my Polar HRM, I burned 656 calories doing it! Yikes, no wonder I was so skinny as a kid…I was doing these things ALL the time!

This is definitely a “workout” I’ll be repeating. Any activity that doesn’t feel like work but burns calories is a winner in my book.

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