So, you thought your hula hooping days were behind you?
Try telling that to Beyoncé, Grace Jones, Kelly Osbourne and model Kelly Brook, just to name a few of the celebrities embracing this must-have fitness tool for all ages.
It’s great for fat-busting, toning, your mood levels, and best of all, it’s also loads of fun, says Melbourne-based hooping aficionado Donna Sparx, who left her six-figure management job in 2015 to share her passion with Australia.
Here, she breaks down the major benefits to help get you started.
1. Boost cardio fitness
Waist hooping (hula hooping around the waist) burns 7 calories per minute. And that’s before you add any extra challenges like bringing your feet together, holding your arms out to the side or lifting them over head. And, let’s be honest, it’s loads more fun than doing another 50 reps at the gym. To get started, you’ll need some waist hooping tips for total beginners.
2. Nurture neurons
Hula hooping enhances and maintains our brain’s neuroplasticity – the ability to grow and change with new behaviours, experiences and focus. Particularly when using two hoops and learning new pathways, our neuroplasticity improves – something that has been identified as preventing the loss of cognitive function often associated with ageing.
3. Tone all your bits
Hula hooping is not just a cardio workout, and it’s not just about spinning a hoop around your waist. There are an infinite number of moves, tricks and exercises that work your abs, shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms, wrists, obliques, butt and thighs.
4. Instant zen
With a gentle focus on breath, slower movement, body awareness and rhythmic repetition, hula hooping provides instant access to a state of mindfulness and an easy entry point into meditation.
5. Easy on the joints
Hula hooping is easy on the joints and most moves are easily adapted around various injuries.
6. Mood magic
A hula hoop is a plastic children’s toy. It’s ridiculous. It’s hilarious. It’s joyous. It’s almost impossible not to giggle or grin as you swing a hoop around, learning new tricks and wiggling your hips. Plus, like with any exercise, it releases endorphins so you always ending up feeling happier after a hoop session. In short, hooping is good for your mental health.
7. Express yourself
Hoop dance is an avenue to explore and express your inner creative self. There is no wrong way, no judgement and no need to hold back. Most of the newest moves out there came from some kind of “mistake”!
8. Connection and community
People of all ages hula hoop. The average adult hoop class ranges from people in their early twenties to people in their late sixties! Hula hoopers are generally welcoming, supportive, non-judgmental and excited when anyone new picks up a hula hoop. It’s a great way to meet people and make new friends in your community.
9. Core strength
Hula hooping is a fun way to strengthen the core. This is vital for preventing back pain, maintaining good posture, and supporting the upper body to prevent injury to the spine.