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Take Off the Weight With a Hoopnotica Hula-Hooping Class

By Tish Merritt for FitBottomedGirls.com

Hula hooping may seem more like playtime than a workout, but if we know anything, it’s that you’re more likely to stick to a workout when it’s actually, you know, fun! And don’t get it twisted — working out with a hula hoop isn’t a walk (or a swivel) in the park…

I met up with Jackie Hesley, hoop dancer extraordinaire and Hoopnotica instructor, on a beautiful Saturday morning in the Santa Monica, Cali., area and basically got a nice slice of humble pie served to me on a hoop for breakfast. My boyfriend scoffed the hula hoop, stating it wasn’t the kind of workout a guy could get sweat to. Hmph. He came back from running around the park and saw his girl, hula hoopin’ and sweating like I do in his boot-camp classes (he’s a personal trainer and tortures me regularly in class) and his mouth fell open. Score one for the hula hoop.

Don’t get me wrong, the class is totally fun. Jackie plugs up her iPhone to a small speaker system, and we party like it’s 1999.  Plus she’s hilarious and nice to boot. She teaches a hodge podge of folks (men and women), so she’s used to different levels of hula-hoop hossness being in her mix, thankfully. I personally hadn’t hooped since probably kindergarten when my boy crush hula-hooped up to me and said he’d marry me if I could hoop for longer than him. I tried. I really did! But, alas, no love connection.
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Yoga vs. Pilates: What is the Difference?

As a teacher of yoga and Pilates, I am aware that some people stick with either one method or the other as part of their exercise program. Even in our modern era of fitness, where crossover classes such as Yogilates are the latest rage, some choose to be loyal to their preferred modality.

While there are many similarities between yoga and Pilates, the differences that exist may be enough to tip the scale of favoritism.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a 5000-year-old discipline steeped in spirituality. The practice of yoga- however diluted by modern culture- still involves a whisper of self-reflection and divine connection. Good for the mind and the body, yoga rises above the realm of exercise because of its intention to elevate the consciousness of those who practice.


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Exercising in Heels is More for Fashion than Fitness

We’ve all seen it, the little girl (let’s say she’s four) clomping around the house in her mother’s high heels. For some women, an obsession with shoes starts young and for others, it doesn’t emerge until the teen years, if ever. Personally, I always saw my mother in her high heels and the clicking sound they made as she walked across the floor made me think she was the most beautiful and powerful woman in the world. I love that sound even now and regardless of how irrational it seems to you, it makes me feel gorgeous.

When I first heard about high heeled workouts, my initial reaction was “heck yes!” and then reality set in. The fact is, working out in high heels adds an entirely new level of possible injuries to your regimen. Consistently struttin’ your stuff in heels has been linked to weak muscles in the calves and ankles. Back and knee injuries also seem to be more common in women who regularly wear heels. Besides the more complicated physiological dangers, something as simple as your balance can be compromised when raised up on high heels. So then why the sudden surge in heel-based exercise classes?


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What a Beginner Should Know About Zumba

Dana Walsh is a licensed Zumba instructor, who has been teaching Zumba for four years. She is also a certified group fitness instructor who shares her passion about living a healthy lifestyle through her blog FitCeleb.com.

Don’t be afraid to step into a Zumba class and step out of your comfort zone. Zumba is made to have fun while working up a sweat. Use these helpful tips to get you comfortable in a Zumba class.

Zumba is a fitness program that is made for everyone to have fun and burn some calories. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just starting to get your feet wet in the workout scene, Zumba is a great combination of both fitness and basic dance moves based on latin rhythms ranging from salsa, merengue, cha cha, samba, to calypso, Bhangra, hip-hop and more!

Zumba is based on a specific formula that in simple terms uses about 3-4 moves a song. Again these moves will be a combination of both fitness and dance, but the moves are made to be repetitive and kept simple so that the participants can follow along at ease and not feel frustrated. However, I want to stress that every Zumba instructor has a different style of teaching. This means that some instructors may use more dance moves, or fitness moves, or tend to stick to a certain latin rhythm more than others. Therefore, I feel it’s important to sample the Zumba instructors in your area and find one that fits your preferred style.


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Picking the Perfect Pair of Shoes for Zumba

Zumba Wear Gym Shoes on Amazon.com, $108.99

Zumba is taking over the world. It’s cheap, fun, easy and you don’t need much to join in on the Latin dance fitness craze except your body, whatever sense of rhythm you have, and the right shoes.

You don’t need those fancy high heels you may be picturing, however. Your regular gym shoes are just fine, but if you really want proper Zumba foot attire, there are a few things you should consider when picking out a new pair of kicks.

There are three basic elements to look at when purchasing any type of shoe: shock absorption, ankle support, and material and sole flexibility. Well, four, cause they have to look good, too, but that’s a given. These three elements become even more important when looking for shoes for a specific activity, which today is a kick-butt Zumba class.


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