Hula Hoop Fitness - My Basic Routine

I've been a slacking in sharing my hula hoop routine, but at least I'm not slacking on my hooping routine, right? ;) So, here's a break down of how I stepped up my hooping from basic "stand and hoop" to "let's drip sweat!". I do this 1-3 times per day, but I make it a point to hoop every day. I recently upgraded from a 2lb hoop to a 4lb hoop, I was very excited that I was no longer feeling the burn with my 2lb. I have also increased my sessions from 15 mins to 30 mins.

Weighted Sports Hula Hoop 4 lb. from Amazon

MORNING: 30 mins hooping
NOON: 30 mins hooping
NIGHT: 30 mins hooping

20 rotations of basic hooping, keeping my arms closer to my body yet relaxed

20 rotations with my arms out and my body centered

20 rotations with my arms out, twisted to the right - return to centered arms out for 20 rotations

20 rotations with my arms out, twisted to the left - return to centered arms out for 20 rotations

20 rotations of basic hooping, keeping my arms closer to my body yet relaxed

20 rotations with my arms straight up in the air

20 rotations with my left arm up, right arm forward - return to arms up for 20 rotations

20 rotations with my right arm up, left arm forward - return to arms up for 20 rotations

I do this routine over again, and the remainder of my time I practice turning in a circle, spinning around, walking forward and back, side to side. Doing the arms movements while hooping has really worked out my arms and shoulders. I definitely feel the burn afterwards!

- I've gained more control in hooping while moving around the room
- I'm still wearing my size 14 and 16 jeans, but I recently bought myself a belt to keep them up
- My arms have started slimming down a little, which is a huge relief because my jackets used to fit too tightly

*keep up with my hooping progress on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #hoopingeveryday
If you are hooping too, please tag me @BeautyByKrystal and let me know how you're doing and what your routines are!
SELF 2 lb hula hoop from Amazon
Weighted Sports Hula Hoop 4 lb. from Amazon


Hula Hoop Fitness - week 1

Monday January 6th - Sunday January 12th
MORNING: 10 mins hooping, 5 mins hooping while squatting
NOON: 15 mins hooping
NIGHT: 15 mins hooping

I decided to hoop three times a day because those are the times when my kids are sleeping and I have plenty of room to hoop. The morning session is my favorite, it gives me so much energy for the day. The afternoon session is a little tough because I'm usually tired from playing with the kids all morning. The night session is the toughest because I'm definitely feeling tired and wanting to be lazy, but it's so satisfying to end my night sweating it out.

I'm very proud that I stuck to my first week goal of 45 mins of hooping every day - I even added an extra session on Friday because I was going to be out of the house on Saturday night and miss my night session. Completing 60 mins of hooping on Friday gave me the motivation to bump up my sessions for the second week.

- my size 16 fitted jeans are no longer too tight, I can comfortably button them without sucking in my tummy.
- my love handles and pudgy tummy are feeling less dense - sadly, that means more skin and jiggles, but at least it's not as fatty as it was last week.
- my hips feel very flexible and I haven't taken a Motrin all week
- energy levels have greatly increased

*keep up with my hooping progress on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #hoopingeveryday
If you are hooping too, please tag me @BeautyByKrystal and let me know how you're doing and what your routines are!
SELF 2 lb hula hoop from Amazon


Hula Hoop Fitness - beginning

In October I bought a SELF 2 lb Fitness Hula Hoop from Amazon, approx. $25. I haven't played with a hula hoop since I was a little girl, so the first month was a struggle to re-learn how to hula hoop - much harder with a weighted hoop than a light one. After I was able to do about 2-3 rotations without dropping it, I finally got the hang of it and I became addicted to it. Hula hooping uses your entire body, I felt everything working and feeling sore; thighs, calves, hips, waist, love handles (those are the sorest!), back muscles and even my arms from holding them up and out of the way.

How I Hoop:
I put my right leg ahead of my left leg, legs about a foot apart, knees loosened enough to bend if needed, rocking my core back and forth, similar to rocking my front leg from heel to toe. The rocking motion keeps the hoop rotating, eventually I have learned to stand straighter, legs parallel, with a stronger core and looser hips. (btw, for those that know I have really bad hips - daily hooping has kept my hips flexible and I've experienced less "lock ups" and stiffness. I've also reduced how much Motrin I take per day).

In November and December, I was hooping for about 5mins once a day, of course during the holidays I was slacking a bit, but I kept going back to my hoop. After gaining more control and balance, I decided I was ready to really turn my hooping into an exercise routine. I'll get into that more in the next post.

*keep up with my hooping progress on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #hoopingeveryday
If you are hooping too, please tag me @BeautyByKrystal and let me know how you're doing and what your routines are!


Wooden Christmas Trees | Kid Crafts

I found these little wooden Christmas trees at my local Michael's Arts & Crafts store, as well as some ornament foam stickers. The kids hand painted the trees with Melissa & Doug Poster Paint and some mini sponge paint brushes. They had so much fun! Michael and I painted the brown bases that night because the kids painted them entirely green haha! This was a great little activity, and we even gifted a couple of their trees to their Aunt on Thanksgiving, her trees had some mini jingle bells glued on and some cotton glued along the base as snow.


Train to Christmas Town - Watsonville, CA

This weekend we had the opportunity to experience the Train to Christmas Town in Watsonville, themed after the book The Train to Christmas Town. Ticket prices range from $15-$48 for adults and children, available in Coach, Premium Coach and Diamond Class; luckily we received complimentary coach tickets in exchange for this review. They offer train times at 4:00 pm and 5:45 pm. I chose the 5:45 pm train, but I would recommend you choose the 4:00 pm train because with the time change it was completely dark outside and we didn't see anything through the train windows. My kids are 3yrs and 20mons and had no idea we were on a moving train because we couldn't see out the windows. The ride was pretty shaking and rocking side to side, my kids were pretty uncomfortable with this since they didn't understand we were on a moving train. They eventually got distracted and started to enjoy the ride.

They served cookies and hot chocolate on the train while playing Christmas music and some audio excerpts from the book. The conductor and a couple elves danced up and down the aisle, the kids loved it as they clapped along and made "choo choo" noises and arm movements with everyone.

We had assumed that the Train to Christmas Town, would actually take us to a Christmas Town where we could get out and explore, but there wasn't an actual destination. We ended up passing by a lit up town display (which we didn't see because it was not on our side of the train), and I'm guessing that was Christmas Town. I was pretty disappointed in this, especially since we couldn't even see it to show the kids.

On the ride back to the station there were some characters from the book coming up and down the aisles to greet the kids, without knowing the book's story, we were pretty confused about why there was a cat, polar bear and squirrel on the train hahaha! The kids enjoyed it though, so that's all that matters.

Then Santa showed up and greeted everyone along the aisle, handing out wooden train whistles to the kids, this was definitely the highlight of the train ride. Madilyn's eyes lit up as she called out "SANTA!" pointing down the aisle and gasping in excitement with her hand to her mouth. Jamison didn't seem as excited, but he was totally happy with his train whistle.

As we arrived back to our station, we snapped some photos of the kids in front of the train and slowly made our way back to the car. The kids were waving goodbye to the "choo choo" train and sadly Madilyn burst into tears when she realized we were getting back in the car and leaving. She eventually got over it, especially since we bought some souvenirs to keep them distracted.

Overall, the train ride was fun, but I would have liked to see photos and more description on the website about how the train ride was going to go. They had us arrive an hour early, which was very stressful to keep the kids entertained for an hour, while we were all just standing around and waiting for the train to arrive. Our tickets had a value of $70, and I don't think I will pay for this train ride again if it is the same as our first experience. The turn off for us (the parents): we highly disliked our train ride was in complete darkness, the train ride was very bumpy and shaky which frightened the kids every time, there was no actual Christmas Town, the station (where we had to stand around for an hour before the train arrived) was just a large tent with smaller tents inside to get your tickets and buy some little souvenirs. We both thought the production was much cheaper than we expected, $70 for a family activity is a lot to spend when there are plenty of free events going on the Bay Area weekly.