Perhaps you have seen a group of young women hooping in a park, or gyms advertising a hula hoop aerobics class. It’s hard to imagine that the popular children’s toy has any place in a fitness regimen. The American Council on Exercise also had their doubts about the growing trend and decided to do a study. To the delight of hula hoop lovers everywhere, they found that 30 minutes of sustained hula hooping can have the same impact as a step aerobics or cardio kickboxing class. After watching this video, I was certain that it was also one of the most fun ways to get some aerobics in as well.
Katie Sunshine, featured in this article, first saw a hoop dancer at a music festival in 2008. She was so mesmerized by the dancer’s moves and the motion of the hula hoop, she forgot all about the concert. Since then, hula hoops have become an integral part of her life. Her YouTube channel features a combination of playful videos like the one below, and tutorials for anyone interested in starting to hoop dance. She makes many of her own hula hoops, and the “paint hoop” can be purchased off her website. While the video displays her Jackson Pollock style art, let’s be honest about the real point – getting messy and having some fun.
I love dancing, but admittedly feel a little self conscious. With hoop dancing, I can focus on the hula hoop and not my body. I also love that it’s a great way to play and get exercise with my daughter and can be done indoors on a rainy day. But before you go running to the nearest toy store, there are some important tips about selecting a good hula hoop. The size of the hoop relative to your body is very important. A hoop that is too small, too large, or too heavy will be difficult to keep going. Held upright, the top of the hoop should come to somewhere between your belly button and lower chest. If you are slender, select a hoop that ends closer to your belly button, and closer to your chest if you have a thicker waistline. You may also find “fitness” models that weigh 5 lbs or more. While these can be great for certain hoop exercises, they are not intended for the kind of swift and sustained movements typically done in hoop dancing. Opt for a hula hoop that weighs between 0.7 and 1.5 lbs.
Viral tales got a kick out of this video, and we hope you did too. Have you seen any interesting things done with a hula hoop? Have we introduced you to a new hobby? Let us know in our comments section, and happy hooping!