Yes, you heard me correctly:  hula hoops.  No, not your rinky dink plastic kind from when you were a kid.  I’m talking about a fitness / dance hoop.

I was introduced to this phenomena a few months ago while at a music festival.  I had seen it here and there and always thought “Those dang hippies!” but in the spirit of the day (ok, there were Owsley Bears and a lot of Grateful Dead cover music going on at this festival, but I digress) I decided to give it a shot for fun.  It turned out to be one of the best ab workouts I’ve ever done in my life!  I fell in love with it – not just from a fitness stand point but also watching the more experienced “hoopers” dance with it, making it look like an extension of their graceful limbs.

I signed up for a weekly, hour long class.  Whenever I mention this to someone they go “Really?  Hula hooping as a class?”  and I have to explain to them that its not as easy as you think it is.  Besides trying to keep the sucker up, you have to learn to move correctly and look good while doing it.  We also incorporate squats and lunges, and use the hoop to tone our arms.  You can burn up to 400-500 calories during a session.  It really is quite a work out!

I am slowly learning how to move and play.  It take practice.  And its fun for all ages.  There is a variety of age groups in my class and we have a blast.  It also doesn’t hurt that we have class in a very quiet, serene park, adding a bit of a yoga flair to the experience.

I know there are classes being held at local YMCA locations.  If you have one in your area – I suggest you check it out and give it a shot.  Here are some resources (and inspiration!) in case you want to sneak a peek and not jump right into a class.

http://www.hooping.org

http://www.hoopnotica.com

And, well, this video is just fun to watch:

Happy hooping lovely readers!  We are curious to hear your thoughts about hooping!  Leave us some comments!

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