Why Hoop Dance Is The Best Exercise For Working Moms

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Whatever You Think About Expands

Recently I have taken up hoop dance.  I didn’t know it when I started, but hooping is actually quite relaxing and is an excellent exercise for clearing your mind and gaining clarity.

Lately, while hooping, I’ve been reminded of something my Sensei used to say in our Black Belt training classes.

Whatever you think about expands.

Since my work focuses heavily on self-development and helping women achieve their goals, this theme keeps popping up.

That’s because we constantly talk to ourselves.  All day long.  Every day.  Talk talk talk.

And it’s common to negatively skew our self-talk and assume that everything is horrible and there are no solutions to our problems.

But, as the saying goes, whatever you think about expands.  So, if you’re thinking all doom & gloom, then you’ll see it everywhere and use this as proof that you are right.

Subsequently, if you’re upbeat & happy, you will notice upbeat & happy people and events and use this as motivation to seek more of those things.

I know this intellectually, and it’s one of the core habits I help clients manage.  But it’s hard to hold yourself accountable.

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

For the past year my schedule has looked liked this: work in the morning from 5-7, be mom to my girls from 7-5, then work again 5-9.  Throw in another 6-10 hours every weekend and lately I have been completely burnt out.

To top it off, I’ve felt like a fraud because my job is to coach women in these exact situations to overcome overwhelm, but I was having a hard time doing just that.

One day my husband said to me, “Well, what would you tell one of your clients?”

I glared at him and thought, he doesn’t get it.

Several weeks later, I realized I should have listened closer.

Since my schedule didn’t allow me time to break (mentally or physically), I felt pent up and anxious.  This led me to feel sorry for myself and a little bit guilty because I resented my kids for needing me all the friggin’ time.

I mentally checked out – never wanting to get involved in something because I knew any minute they would be screaming for me to help them do something.

I felt trapped.

And then one day I caught myself in a lie.

I can’t work out.  I’m too busy.

631busyness_badgeI knew right then I had to make a change.
My client work and research into habits and goal setting has taught me that “busyness” almost always equates to “lack of priorities”.

So from that moment, every time I caught myself saying I’m too busy, I would reframe my thoughts to, there has to be something I can do to stay active that keeps the kids entertained.

I was looking for something that we could do together, at home, without a lot of set up or tear down.  I had to be able to do it while the girls played.  Bonus points if they could join in (or leave) at any time.

If you stay home with young kids, I’m sure you understand how impossible this sounds. But I just kept repeating the phrase, there has to be something I can do to stay active that keeps the kids entertained.

I knew if I could exercise I would feel less stress and anxiety, and have more clarity and focus…and the first step was to change the story I was telling myself.

Answers In Unexpected Places

One day, I casually mentioned to my friend Sarah that ever since her interview, I couldn’t stop thinking about hoop dance and her Teach Kids to Hoop online course.

sarahjordanGuess what happened?

Sarah offered to let me take her course at no cost!

I couldn’t believe it.  Here I was looking for an activity to do with my kids and it never occurred to me the one thing I had been daydreaming about was the exact thing I wanted.


Another lesson: the best and easiest solutions are almost always right in front of you.

Learn How to Hula Hoop

The Teach Kids to Hoop online course only took a couple hours to consume.  After that, all I had to do was get a hoop and try it out.

I was a little scared that I wouldn’t be able to make it work because I haven’t kept a hula hoop up since I was like 8 years old or something.  But Sarah assured me that if I followed the steps I would be hooping in no time.

Turns out, the hoops they sell in toy stores are too small and light for most adults.  It’s no wonder I could never make it work – I was working with a kid size hoop!

Once I had the right size for my shape and ability, I was able to waist hoop after just a few minutes of practice.  And over the next couple of weeks I learned several more hoop tricks.  Turns out, hula hooping was the perfect solution to my problems!

Benefits of Hoop Dance

The girls love playing with their hoops and it’s easy for them to play with me at their own pace.  (Zoey even got it to rotate on her hips a couple times yesterday!)Lansing Hoops

I love hooping because I can do it anywhere (inside or outside) and it takes just a few seconds to get out or put away my hoop.

The rhythmic motion helps push out the mental frustrations of the day.  And the focus and concentration it requires forces you into a sort of meditative state where it’s easy to think about possibility and stop worrying about everything that isn’t going right.

Since I’ve started hooping, my work on 631, and with my coaching clients has improved.  This is a good reminder of something I tell my clients all the time.

If you don’t feel good, your work will suffer.  Spending time on yourself is not optional.  It is essential for your success.

Keep Having Fun

Hoop dance is part cardio and core workout combined with the focus and concentration of martial arts and the balance of yoga.  It’s also so much fun you’ll forget you’re exercising.

I’m incredibly grateful to Sarah for sharing her course with me.  Hooping is truly the perfect exercise for any “busy” mom entrepreneurs out there.

If you want to know more about hoop dance in the Lansing, MI and surrounding areas go to Lansing Hoops.  This is where I’ll share info about hoop dance classes for kids and adults, as well as free hooping events for you to join.

If you want to learn how to teach kids to hoop, or how to start your own hooping business, check out Sarah at Teach Kids to Hoop.

Now I’m curious.  How do you fit exercise into a busy schedule?  Comment below and share your wisdom with everyone!