Recently, I’ve found a method of incorporating fitness and self-expression into one: the hula hoop! The hula hoop is a great way to work out while also experiencing a true therapeutic release by exercising with a kid’s toy.
Getting started is pretty simple — just grab a hoop! Because adults come in various heights, buying a correctly sized hoop (or making your own using one of the many tutorials available online) is important so that you achieve the right balance of hoop-to-body size. The hula hoop should reach from the floor to somewhere between your belly button and sternum when you’re standing. The key to hula hooping is to find the right posture and timing.
The American Council on Exercise says hula hooping promotes cardiovascular and respiratory health, increases blood flow to the brain, boosts energy and coordination, strengthens torso and leg muscles, and also enhances spinal flexibility. It makes for a great low-impact workout. I’ve found that hula hooping is also a good mood enhancer simply because it can break down any inhibitions and self-consciousness through laughter.
Learning how to hula hoop can be as simple as finding an informative video on YouTube or asking someone who can show you what to do. Or, if you’re like me, just watch your kid do it. Exercise is now a lot more fun.
Kristen A. Schmitt
Middletown Springs, Vermont