It’s a throwback to childhood that’s much more than child’s play — hula hooping.
“It’s giving yourself an excuse to be whimsical and getting an amazing workout at the same time,” instructor Lucy Tenhundfeld said. “How often do adults give themselves time to play?”
Fun and fitness, that’s a win-win and that’s what hula hooping can be. According to the Mayo Clinic, any type of hula hooping — with a weighted or regular hula hoop — can help people meet their exercise goals and provide much-needed aerobic activity. And, on average, women can burn about 165 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping while men will burn about 200 calories in that time.
“There’s a lot of core work and it’s great cardio,” said Katie Wagner, manager of Haven, a yoga and wellness studio in Middletown. “And it’s just fun, so it’s good for the spirit.”
Tenhundfeld will share her love of hooping at Haven at the upcoming Hoopalicious event on March 7 at the Middletown studio. From the basics of how to hula hoop to working on some tricks that are sure to impress onlookers, the class is designed for all ages and ability levels.
“This is absolutely something anybody can do,” Wagner said. “It’s a great way to reacquaint ourselves with that little kid in all of us in a way that is adult-friendly.”
The class will cover on-body hooping, stretching with your hula hoop, hooping with musicality — dancing with your hula hoop and tapping into your own flow — as well as several off-body tricks that are fun to do and impressive to watch.
“It’s a great way to work a little play into your day,” Tenhundfeld said. “For me, hooping is a great way to trick myself into exercising through play.”
Hoops come in a variety of sizes and can be made of many different materials. No hoop, no problem as there will be several available at the workshop to try out. For those interested in purchasing one of their own, size is the major consideration.
“Holding the hoop in front of you, from the ground up, it should hit you somewhere around your belly button,” Wagner said.
Weighted hula hoops are bigger and heavier than traditional hula hoops, typically weighing in between 2 and 3 pounds. Weighted hoops can be a good addition to your exercise program but aren’t ideal for beginners.
“I’ve used them and they definitely blast your core, my abs burned,” Tenhundfeld.
Hoopalicious will use lightweight hoops and focus on beginner-friendly basics.
“It’s a fun, low-impact workout,” Tenhundfeld said. “And, after some practice, you can try out some of the tricks next time you’re at the park. People will definitely stop and notice.”