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This article was written by Cori Magnotta as told to Sarah Klein and provided by our partners at Prevention. But when she faced stubborn extra pounds after the birth of her son, she decided it was time to make a change. As I got older, I Hula-Hooped less and less and eventually joined the real world, put the hoop aside, and forgot about it.

When I was pregnant with my son, I developed preeclampsia, or high blood pressure, and had to be on bedrest for two months.

I developed hypothyroidism after my pregnancy, and my metabolism had slowed, making it easier to gain weight and that much more difficult to lose it. In October 2014, I was down to 250 pounds, and I started searching the internet for fun workouts.

I came across FXP Fitness, which uses a weighted Hula-Hoop in a routine that borrows from barre, yoga, and pilates. I drove from my home in Portland, Connecticut, to Massachusetts, the only place classes were available at the time. I wore a fitness tracker and a heart-rate monitor and watched my heart rate spike like I was doing a high-intensity interval training workout.

I could burn as much as 800 calories in an hour doing the class's combination of ballet movements, yoga poses, strength exercises like squats, and of course traditional waist hooping. It was easy to stand in front of the TV and whip it around my waist, even if I had toys all over my living room floor from my son. Once you start exercising, there's a snowball effect: You have more energy to do more things, like cook instead of going to the drive-thru and play with my son instead of watching him at the playground.

I Lost 85 Pounds By Hula Hooping
I Lost 85 Pounds By Hula Hooping

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