Hula Hooping for weight loss
By Samantha Culyer
Hula Hooping, Hoopdance or Hoop Fitness appears to be a fairly recent trend in yet another way to get us all up off the couch and into a new and fitter way of living. Actually, hooping for both fun and exercise has been around for centuries. (Think Ganymede rolling a hoop as depicted on an ancient Greek vase held in The Louvre or Victorian children having fun with hoops on their waist.)
The benefits to Hula Hooping are numerous, foremost, above everything else it's fun! For some it can bring back memories of youth and for others it's about gaining the complete satisfaction of acquiring a brand-new skill. Whichever category you fall into, everyone can still enjoy the benefits that hooping has to offer. Basically, anything that gets me laughing and smiling whilst apparently exercising gets my vote!
I started hooping a little more than two years ago. I wanted to see if I could still spin that hoop around my waist, just like Grace Jones did at the 2012 Queen's Jubilee concert! Okay, I was a little rusty at first but with the right size hoop I soon found myself in hoop spinning heaven. What's more I became addicted, hooped quite a lot and resulted in being 2.5 stones lighter within 6 months, an unintended bonus! It is commonly known among Hoopers that you can burn approximately 300 to 400 calories an hour, even whilst watching TV! The weight really shifted for me by taking part in a 30/30 challenge. The idea is that you join a group on-line and commit to hooping for 30 minutes for 30 consecutive days. There’s plenty of support as you check in each day to say you have completed your 30 minutes. It’s also an opportunity to encourage others to keep going. Details of the next 30/30 challenge can be found on www.totallyhooplass.com or on www.facebook.com/totallyhooplass
Another benefit of hooping is that it is comparatively low impact so it is great for people who want to avoid the running/jumping types of exercise or who are looking to increase personal fitness post-surgery.
Hooping is for everyone. It is suitable for children and has no upper age limit! There are many ways to learn, for example, you could join a local class in your area or you can use the many YouTube clips now available online. Of course, you will need to get yourself a correctly sized hoop if you want to learn in the privacy of your own home. Alternatively, and my recommendation would be to join a class where an instructor will fit you with the right sized hoop to get you spinning the hoop confidently. I recommend using the Facebook page group “Uk Hula Hoopers” for the most up to date information on hoop classes and events in your area.
With regular practice you'll soon find you can tone your abdominal wall and strengthen your core. What's more, you will tone other parts of your body too, not just your middle section. Hooping is perfect for new mums too as it strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. Hooping also enables you to build your body strength as you manipulate the hoop in ways you may never have thought of before. With a few new tricks up your sleeve you can be as creative as you like as you find different ways to move your hoop whilst playing your favourite tracks.
All in all Hooping can be a real tonic for the soul which keeps me coming back for more! It really does lift the spirits and make everything right with the world. I have made great friends and kept the weight off, what’s not to like?
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Last revised: 05 January 2015