Hooping: The Most Fun Workout, Ever
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Say the word “workout” to people and ask them to tell you the first thing that comes to mind. They won’t respond with the word “fun.” It just doesn’t happen.
People do not usually think of exercise and fun together. You get the first one over with and use the second as a reward, right? But what if you could mesh them together, having so much fun you completely forget you’re exercising while burning upwards of 450 calories an hour?
That’s what happened to me last year when I lost 42 pounds in 6 months, working out with a hula-hoop. “Hooping” is serious fun and almost insultingly simple, not to mention the investment for a brand-new, shiny adult-sized hoop is only about $40. There’s no real reason you shouldn’t already have one. Plus, the fun-filled memories you get from a hoop will last forever.
So, let’s say I convinced you to try hooping, and you purchase a hoop. Now what? Before you swing it into action, here are some hooping hints to help you maximize the fun.
5 Hooping Tips to Get Started
1. Enter with no expectations. At first your hooping skills may be iffy at best, and sometimes your hoop will drop and hit the ground. Just like in life, you can always pick it up and start over again. Over time, you’ll get the hang of it!
2. Connect with your inner child. Hoopers tend to be creative and sometimes set the mood by playing dress up, hooping in funky fashions and colorful accessories. Don’t be afraid to be the more fun version of you. No one is looking.
3. Create your own play space. You can hoop outdoors in the park or indoors, in front of your TV. Attend a hoop class in your town or be a lone practitioner. Dance to music that moves you, or hoop in silent meditation. There are no rules to hooping, only experienced suggestions, so hoop however you want. It’s your playtime!
4. BFFs forever! Oh no, the hoop is not just a plastic ring. Consider it to be your new dance partner in which you are the leader—not the other way around. Once you learn how to lead with simple body cues, the two of you will be dancing non-stop. Not only will you have the coolest bestie ever, you will also never be without a dance partner!
5. Set play dates. Grab your hoop and hit the Internet where you will find that the hooping community is a welcoming, non-competitive environment for the most part, and most “hoopers” like to share. There are countless hoop classes, workshops and free hooping events sprouting up everywhere. If there isn’t a class in your area already, consider starting one of your own.
Finally, one of the coolest things about hooping is that it can take you out of your grownup mind for a while, allowing you to leave who you are trying to be behind, and just be. It will remind you of how you were as a kid, and if you missed out on the hula-hoop the first time around, well, here is another chance to learn to spin. Don’t miss out! —Jackie Hesley
Jackie Hesley, former director of Studio Hoopnotica, has spent countless hours teaching new Hoopers foundational skills, and, in the process, lost more than 40 pounds having fun in the hoop. In response to her students’ requests, she recently created a new Hooping program called Hoop Trainer, featuring, a 30-minute HoopFit Workout. The HoopFit Workout is a no-impact, high-energy fitness program that burns more than 450 calories an hour, is safe for all ages and sizes, and is fun for all levels of Hoopers. Hoop Trainer’s classes are now offered live in Los Angeles and a DVD is coming soon!