PART ONE: The 4-7-8 Breath

Many of you have expressed what a positive impact hooping has had on your lives.  We’ve heard how you feel happier after a hoop session, more relaxed, and some of you have even reported less anxiety and depression.  Today’s challenge is all about harnessing the power of the breath to further deepen the mind, body, breath connection.  Our thoughts influence our breathing.  Our breathing influences our physiology.  Learning how to use this technique can have a wide variety of benefits:

  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced depression
  • Stabilize and even lower blood pressure
  • Increased energy levels
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Decreased stress
  1. Watch Dr. Weil’s video to first learn how to perform the 4-7-8 Breath. 
  2. Then watch our video on how to incorporate this with waist hooping. (I’m not mad in the video, just concentrating!)  Try practicing this yourself for a cycle of four breaths at first, based on Dr. Weil’s recommendation. 
  3. Then practice your regular waist hooping for at least fifteen minutes.  If waist hooping is easy for you, try practicing with either a lighter hoop, or in the opposite direction, or current.

Ways to incorporate this into your hoop practice:

  1. As a warmup before starting more vigorous hooping exercises.
  2. As part of your cooldown to bring your heart rate back down and create a sense of calm.
  3. When learning a new hoop trick or a trick that’s particularly difficult to learn.  When we have trouble learning a new trick often the mind body connection isn’t working properly.  We KNOW what we want our bodies to do, but we can’t seem to make it happen.  When you get frustrated with a trick, stop and practice this breathing technique before attempting again.

When you have watched both videos and practiced, head to our Facebook page (or leave a comment on our blog) about your experience practicing this with the challenge and what ideas YOU have to incorporate this.

And don’t forget to read on for PART TWO, our nutrition challenge to keep you burning calories, not storing them.

Learn How to Use the 4-7-8 Breath While Waist Hooping

PART TWO:  TWO TIPS TO BURN, NOT STORE CALORIES

In the game of weight loss, calories do matter.   The two tips I’m giving you today are designed to help tip calories in versus calories out in your favor.

DO THIS:  Start replacing your cooking oils with vegetable broth and/or water.  A tablespoon of virtually any oil has roughly 120 calories. If you are using oil to sauté vegetables, chances are you’re using more than a tablespoon, which can quickly add up and throw weight loss efforts off track.  These are wasted calories that provide little to no health benefit.  According to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who works relentlessly to reverse heart disease in patients:

“The reality is that oils are extremely low in terms of nutritive value. They contain no fiber, no minerals and are 100% fat calories. Both the mono unsaturated and saturated fat contained in oils is harmful to the endothelium, the innermost lining of the artery, and that injury is the gateway to vascular disease. It doesn’t matter whether it’s olive oil, corn oil, coconut oil, canola oil, or any other kind.There are many other sources of healthy fat – cooking oil isn’t one of them.”

How do you do a vegetable broth sauté?  Simply add the vegetable broth and sauté your vegetables just like you would with your oil.  If you don’t have the vegetable broth on hand, water works well too!  Just keep an eye out and add more liquid if needed.

DO THIS:  If possible, try your hooping practice in the morning before you eat breakfast.  Why?  We’re trying to tap into your body’s fat burning potential.  Let’s say you eat dinner at 8.  It will take until about 4 am for your body to burn through the food and sugar stores to start burning fat. If you wake up at 6, your body has had 2 hours to tap into fat burning.  Starting your workout before breakfast helps you tap into that potential even further.

Check Your Challenge Progress! 12%

To learn more, we suggest the following resources:

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing-benefits-of-pranayama

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/healing-breath/

This Challenge Contributed by:

Leigh Little
ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Find me on Facebook!
www.real-fitness-solutions.com
leighlittle@real-fitness-solutions.com

13 thoughts on “Hoop for Hope Challenge #2

  1. Forgot how much I enjoy hooping! Thank you for setting up this challenge. I have a wedding at the end of the month that I’m a bridesmaid in and I can’t wait to see the results from this challenge. Not only is it helping with my weight loss but also with my anxiety. Thanks again!!!

    • Krystal that’s wonderful! There are so many amazing things hooping can do. I think we are all in this journey for different reasons but are coming together to support each other! Let us know if there are specific things you would like us to cover in any of the areas – fitness, nutrition, or hooping!!!

  2. Never thought of cooking oil like that. Thank you for the information. Will be buying vegy.broth tomorrow. Sounds way more yummy then oil.

  3. The hooping really did get rid of my anxiety. . After the listed exercise. I turned on my African Jazz music and hoped for 45 minutes. My anxiety waiting for my first grandchild to enter this world. Getting ready for 2 1/2 hour drive. I am taking my hoops along for the ride. I love my Canyon collapsible hoops.

    • Mamie, so happy to hear this and congratulations on your first grandchild. Having something like a hoop you can take with you is so valuable for staying on track. Let us know how we can help!

  4. I loved integrating breathing into hooping! Hooping is relaxing on its own, but doing it with a breathing meditation makes it even more relaxing. A question for Leigh and anyone else who has ideas: What do you do with your arms when you are hooping for a long time? I feel like my arms are in the way since I can’t put them down. Sometimes I put them on my head to get them out of the way. 🙂 Any other ideas?

    • Amy! Good morning! Glad you enjoyed incorporating the breathing meditation with your hooping. It’s really amazing HOW MANY things we can incorporate with our hoops, isn’t it? Ok, ARMS, lets talk ARMS! I will put together a bonus video segment on WHAT IN THE WORLD TO DO WITH ARMS! That’s a great question and I think others will benefit that love spending time IN the hoop. Leigh

  5. Hi Leigh,
    So great adding the breath work into my hoop session. I had never thought of that. I’m living this challenge and all the added support of videos and nutritional advice! Thanks!

    • Hi Alesha! I’m so happy that you are finding value in the series. Let us know if there’s something you would like to see us add into the mix! Leigh

  6. Wow! At first I was having a hard time breathing and counting, then it started to come together and I started to relax and it became easier. I’m sure I had the same look that you had. Haha!

  7. The challenge has helped me get hooping back into my routine that I had let slide way too long! And it is a fun way to do it! I really like to get the healthful tips such as breathing properly and nutrition.

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