Benefits of Hooping
Journey in the Circle- the hula hoop (an article i wrote for the florida times union)
Hula Hooping may have been a fun game you played as a child, but hooping, or hoop dance has evolved into something so much more.
Today hooping is a wonderful form of exercise as well as a beautiful art form of movement and dance with many health benefits, not to mention, it is just plain fun! Gone are the days of just hooping at your waist. Now people are leg hooping, chest, shoulder and neck hooping, as well as off body hooping using your hands, arms and even your elbows!
According to Jodi Jainchill, Physical Therapist and Hoop Dance Instructor of Hoop and Health in Gainesville (www.hoopandhealth.com), there are many benefits of hooping.
Some of these benefits include:
~core stablization: keeping your hoop going helps teach correct body
~improving body awareness: learn to feel where your body is in
~improves balance and body symmetry
~ improves cardio and endurance
~lose weight while having fun
~release of emotional stress and adds a smile!
~aids in self expression and creativity
According to a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise, hula hooping would burn around 200 calories in a day if you work out for half an hour.
Hula Hooping has been classified as an aerobic exercise that would increase the flexibility and strength of one’s body. It is considered as a low-intensity workout for most people. One of the fun and creative ways to lose weight is by hula hooping.
My new addiction to this unseemingly perfect polyvinyl circle began a year ago when a dear friend purchased her first hoop. So thinking it would be fun to hoop together, I headed to the hardware store, picked up tubing and an assortment of colorful tape and made my first hoop.
The first day I picked up that wonderful circular tube, I couldn’t keep it around my waist. I got so frustrated and thought, what kind of woman cant keep a hula hoop around their waist. After a short time, I was finally hooping.
A small group of us began hooping at Memorial Park in Riverside on any given Sunday afternoon. Some of us were rekindling old relationships with the hoop and some of us were just beginning ours. I havent looked back since.
Being a new mom as well as a business co-owner of a local Bead Shop in 5 Points and a jewelry artist, I don’t have a lot of time for naps, much less time to go to the gym, so when I’m feeling a little sluggish, I pick up my hoop, give it a whirl and am immediately re-energized and quite blissful. This is also how I begin my day, its perks me up first thing in the morning with a nice cup of coffee, the birds chirping and a short hoop session.
The great thing about hooping is that you don’t have expensive equipment to purchase, and you can do it anywhere from your living room to the great outdoors. It is best to start with a large hoop, maybe ¾ inch diameter 100 or 160 psi irrigation tubing(I prefer the 160psi, it is slightly heavier.) The hoop should stand between your naval and your chest.)
There are plenty of online hooping tutorials, and I have now organized 2 hooping workshops here with Jodi Jainchill of Hoop and Health in Gainesville. We held them on the river at the location of the Riverside Arts Market, (not during market hours.) It was quite a beautiful spot for some afternoon hooping. Look for more workshops in the near future with Jodi.
In early April, I am organizing a full weekend workshop with “Caroleena,” a seasoned national hoop dance instructor who has taught at Hoop Convergence, a large hooping conference held in Carborro, NC as well as other workshops across the country. Caroleena also teaches online tutorials on u-tube. Stay tuned for more details of her weekend workshop planned for this spring.
Caroleena and Jodi have both filled my hat with lots of fun tricks. (I didn’t say I am great at these tricks but I sure am having fun and reaping the wonderful benefits.) .
So next time you are wanting some fun exercise without going to the gym, pick up a hoop, grab a friend, get outside and see for yourself.
Move your body, ease your mind and lift your spirits! ziggy hoop dancer