Hula Hooping for Fun and Fitness
These days there are so many creative ways to combine fun and exercise. And hula hooping, also known simply as hooping, is one of them.
If you are looking for new ways to keep fit, and if like many people you get easily bored at the gym, it is time to try something a little bit different. So hooping could be the answer.
Who has not rocked a hula hoop, even as a child, and remembered thinking: ‘This is so much fun. I am really enjoying this!‘ But back then classes were totally unheard of, especially for adults.
However, times have changed as people are always on the lookout for better ways to get fit.
Hula Hooping Through The Ages
he modern hoop as we know it, made out of plastic tube, was invented in California in the late 1950s. It was directly inspired by the bamboo hoops used in Australia at the time.
However, it is known children and adults have been hooping with dried grapevines since as far as ancient Egypt or ancient Greece.
Hooping was also very popular in Great Britain during the fourteenth century as hoops were used for both leisure and religious ceremonies.
Five hundred years later, British sailors returning home from Hawaii, invented the exact term ‘hula hooping’ as it reminded them of hula dancing.
In Native American Indian culture, hoops represent the cycle of life. In storytelling, up to thirty small hoops at a time can be used to perform animal dances.
Lately, hooping has never been more popular as it has been featured many times in the world famous Cirque de Soleil circus acts, as well as various festivals and fairs while classes for all ages are emerging all over the world.
Benefits of Hula Hooping
There is no denying that hooping is great fun and the benefits are endless. It is a good way of letting go of stress and connect with your happy place.
Being an amazing core and cardio exercise, on a daily basis, you can gain those killer abs and slim waist you have always dreamed of.
Additionally, it targets the muscles on your bum, legs and arms as the hoop travels up and down your body in a circular motion. It’s also known for realigning the spine, hooping improves flexibility, coordination and balance.
To sum things up, hooping is the equivalent of running on a treadmill except it will not stress your joints. It is an awesome body workout, it burns calories.
It is great for the mind and good for the heart, and it strengthens your spine. What more can you ask for?
As you will learn to use the hoop on both left and right side, and different directions, you will improve your body balance and your self-confidence. Plus you will be proud of yourself for learning new tricks which may seem hard at first but are easily achievable with regular practice.
How To Start Hula Hooping
Firstly, wear comfortable snug fitting clothes. Some people like to use their bare skin, especially around the arms and legs to get a better grip on the hoop.
Then all you need is the right size hoop so you can practice in the comfort of your own home, in your backyard or at the park. Impress your friends and children by showing off your skills!
There is always the option to order a hoop online and have it custom made. The bigger and heavier are much easier to use than the small ones you can find in toy shops.
There are several colours, weights and sizes depending on the use and needs. The large ones are used around the waist and the slightly smaller lighter ones are easier to handle for learning tricks with the hands and arms.
There are some awesome online tutorials and hula hooping DVDs out there. However, to find out the right size hoop for you it is better to join a hula hooping community. Find out about private workshops and lessons in your area.
Your local gym may even host classes as hooping is becoming more popular. Ask around and do some research on the internet, you would be surprised at the amount of information you will find.
Some circus schools also offer hooping classes. People showing up at these classes are all from different backgrounds and ages. Most importantly, hoops will be provided.
But, beware as hooping can become a healthy addiction. It really is a great workout although it does not feel like exercising. As well as making you fit, it lifts up your spirit. And most importantly, it is a lot of fun!
For more information about the various types of hoops or to buy a hula hoop, checkout the team from Pretty Sticky Circus.