Adult Hula Hoop
Hooping Ain’t Easy
When most people think of a hula hoop, the image of a happy child with a colorful plastic ring twirling around her waist comes to mind. While this image still holds true, hooping is no longer just for kids! More and more adults are embracing the hula hoop in an exciting and modern way– hoop dance. Gone are the days of simply spinning the hoop around one’s waist. Hoop dance involves dancing inside the hoop, around the hoop, and making that hoop do amazing things! It is so much fun that it’s easy to forget that you are getting an excellent workout session while you play.
Benefits of Hoop Dance
If the fun isn’t reason enough to give hoop dance a try, there are also considerable benefits to the mind and body. Hoop dance utilizes multiple muscles including the arms, legs, buttocks, hips, and abdomen. It tones and strengthens muscles, burns calories, elevates your heart rate, increases your flexibility, and improves your balance. In a study sponsored by the ACE, the American Council on Exercise, hooping was found to burn an average of seven calories per minute, or 210 calories during 30 minutes of hooping. The study also showed hula hooping to produce an increase in heart-rate comparable to the increase that one would get from boot camp, step aerobics, cardio kickboxing, and advanced Pilates.
Learning new moves can take a lot of time and practice, but the sense of accomplishment and pride you feel when you get a move just right is priceless. In addition to the self-esteem boost that is engendered when you have learned a new skill, you may find that the feedback that you receive from others is quite uplifting. Even very basic moves appear quite elegant and impressive to onlookers, as you will discover quickly when a friend or family member sees what you are doing and gasps in amazement.
Another important benefit of hoop dance is the calming and meditative effect that it has on one’s mind. Rebecca DeShon, a professional hooper since 2008, and founder of HoopEssence, Inc., based in Atlanta, Georgia says, “It has lifted me out of the depths of self-loathing and depression by opening up my heart and mind to creative self-expression! The hoop is such a soothing rhythm; it quickly turned into my ‘moving meditation’. It helps to center my energy and gives me time to clear my head and focus my energy.” A few minutes of hooping in the morning before you start your day can really help to get your mind in a positive place and your body full of energy, ready to face whatever may come your way.
Many times adults will say that they were able to hoop as a child, but when they tried the neighbor kid’s hoop, they quickly discovered that they had completely lost the ability that they once possessed. In most cases, this is not true at all. The real problem is that they are trying to use a child’s hoop. An adult person needs an adult hoop. Adult hoops are larger and heavier than the child’s version. With the proper hoop, there are no limits to what you and your hoop can do. Best of all, a hoop and the willingness to get up and use it are the only things required to start hoop dancing!
The best way to find the right hoop is to find someone locally who makes them. This can be done by typing “hula hoop” plus your city and state into an internet search engine. The great thing about buying your hoop locally is that it’s a sure way to meet other hoopers, many of whom will probably be quite eager to tell you all about hoop jams where people gather in a park or large building and hoop together. They’ll also be an excellent source of information about instructional classes, performances, and hoop-related events that may be happening in your area. Often you will find that the person who makes your hoop is more than happy to share a few tips and tricks to get you started.
If you live in a rural area, or if there are simply no local sources for hula hoops, all is not lost! You can order one online, or even make one yourself. There are many wonderful resources available online today that can guide you through purchasing a hoop, making your own hoop, and learning tricks and moves, from beginner to intermediate. There are entire websites available free of charge dedicated to all things hula hoop, complete with instructional video tutorials.
Give Hoop Dance a Whirl
Hooping is a low impact activity. Therefore it is a good option for you if have arthritis. It will give you the active range of motion you need in your joints to keep them moving.
If you are looking for a form of exercise that you’ll actually look forward to doing each day, hoop dance may be just the thing for you. Best of all, beginning this potentially life-changing activity is just as easy as procuring an appropriate hoop and giving it a spin. You don’t even have to leave your own house or yard. All you have to do is make the decision to get up and move that body!
It is recommended that you perform at least 30 mins of cardio activity a minimum of 5 days a week, hooping will count towards that goal. Do not be discourage if you mess up a few time. No one becomes a master hooper at the first try. With practice you will become an expert and reap the heal benefits of physical activity.