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Sam_noderer_headshotPosted by Samantha Noderer

Samantha is a Health Communication Intern at the MA Department of Public Health

 

 

HoopsWhen’s the last time you hula hooped?

I never learned how as a kid. But one day last year – in a very manic moment – I decided to get myself a hoop and change that. With a little guidance, I became a hooping fool over the course of just a few months: hula-ing around my waist, chest, shoulders, neck and limbs! It’s now, hands down, my favorite hobby.

Hooping is a great way to tone up thighs, abs, glutes and arms without ever feeling like you’re “working out.” It can also do wonders for mental health; releasing stress and inspiring creativity. And now that spring is upon us, it’s a great outdoor activity that “kids” of all ages can enjoy.

 

Step 1: Find Your Hoop. 
The hoops at a toy store are fine for kids, but really won’t cut it for an adult.

  • You’ll need a larger hoop, usually between 36-44 inches for beginners, depending on height. The rule of thumb is a hoop should fall somewhere between your belly button and chest while standing upright.
  • A heavier hoop is easier for learning, but a lighter hoop requires more core-work to keep it from falling.
  • Hoop vendors are happy to help figure out what materials and sizes are best for you. Yourhoop.com is a great place to start looking.

 

Step 2: Get Started.
Don’t know any hoopers? Don’t worry! YouTube is full of instructional videos to get you going. Start the trend among your family and friends.

  • Got kids? Send them to the KidTribe website – a fun hooping movement that’s part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. Adults can pick up pointers here, too!

 

Step 3: Words of Wisdom.
A few more key points for the best hooping experience possible:

  • Music. Hooping without music is like the beach without sand. I like blues, funk, and dance music. Experiment and find your own groove.
  • Hoop in both directions. One side will always be easier, but keeping your body balanced is important. Plus, it’ll make you a better hooper!
  • Don’t give up. Learning to hoop is a lot like learning to ride a bike. You might feel clumsy at first, but once you get it, you’ll get it. It took me two hours to get the hang of waist-hooping, so stick it out!
  • Stop thinking, start feeling. Still frustrated? Close your eyes and feel the rhythm between your body and the hoop. It can be a very “zen” moment.
  • Play. Experiment hooping around your neck, shoulders, chest, arms and legs (YouTube videos are really helpful here). Make up your own moves, or try using more than one hoop at once!

 

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Who said exercise couldn’t be fun?

Feel free to comment below with any questions – I’d be thrilled to help you on your hooping journey.

 

 

 

…and Happy Hooping!  

 

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