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Fun Mom Workout: Hula-Hooping

Move over, dumbbells  -- the hula hoop is the next big thing in mom fitness. L.A.-based fitness instructor Rayna McInturf launched Hoopnotic Hoopdance, a workout using a revamped version of the classic toy, in 2006. Since then, hooping has been making a steady comeback.

"Hula-hooping is a fun way to burn some calories," says Parenting Mom Squad fitness expert Sharon Monplaisir. The hoop that McInturf uses is larger and heavier than the traditional kind and, she says, is a better fit for adults and helps burn more calories (her versions are $40 and up at hoopnotica.com

Use the right stance. Moving in a circular motion  -- a common mistake  -- makes it harder to keep the hoop up. Instead, stand with one foot in front of the other, hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and tuck in your pelvis. Then shift your weight from one leg to the other.

Choose music with a varied tempo so you can practice both fast and slow speeds. Going faster burns more calories, while slowing down requires more subtle movement that tones core muscles and helps define your waistline.

Have your kids join in. The more fun you all have, the more likely you'll stick with it.

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