I am going to show my age right now. If you remember the commercials that went “shoop-shoop, the hula hoop, hoop” then you are showing your age, too! Easily, I can still hear that shoop-shoops sound as the hula hoop circled round and round my waist. Can you?
Well, as I often say, everything old is new again. In the past few years, hula hooping for fitness has made a big comeback. We have seen the first lady using one to promote fitness for children, we have seen Dr. Oz participating in a session and even yesterday’s Sun-Sentinel had a front page story, in the Lifestyles section. Where is my hula hoop? I had one for years, sitting out in my gym and occasionally I would even use it! I was always intrigued that I could do it one direction, but not at all in the opposite direction. Talk about a nervous system that didn’t like being confused! We have a lot of them at Bally and I might just have to stay a few extra minutes after class today…after all, this Sunday is World Hoop Day. (WHD raises money for Ambassadors with Hoops, which promotes hooping for fitness for underprivileged children throughout the world.)
Originally created in the 1950s by Wham-O Company, more than 20 million were sold in the first 6 months of production! Wow. Things were so simple back in the 50s. Of course they are far from simple, now, and even hoops have grown up. Adult hoops cost about $30.00 and are wider and heavier (about a pound) than those for kids. One hula hoop instructor says that you can burn between 300-800 calories an hour hoop dancing, as its now called. They say this is about the same as running, spinning or doing aerobics. Somehow, when I do the math, I am sure I have NEVER burned 800 calories in an hour. I think that number is perhaps for a very large man. If I burned anywhere near that number of calories in an hour, I definitely would have faded away by now–I definitely have NOT!
There are quite a few hooping organizations and instructor training. Hoopnotica is a California company that is one and they can be found at Hoopnotica.com/teach or call 877-464-6676. Google will lead you to the others, if you are interested. I say (as I do with all things) keep it simple. Pick up an inexpensive hoola hoop at a store like Target or Wal-Mart and get moving!
Annie O’Keefe, who helped create World Hoop Day, says hooping is “a peaceful way to stay fit.” Of course, I LOVE THAT! She goes on to say “when people hoop they can only feel joy.” I love that, too. Hooping, joy, peace and fitness. Does it get better than that?
A very wise person once said (and I use the quote every day of my life) “We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.” NEVER STOP PLAYING!