They have all been snapped hula hooping, the latest fitness craze for people looking for an alternative to traditional fitness classes and training on gym equipment.
While many people think of hula hooping as a children’s activity, with adult sized heavy hula hoops, hooping can burn 7 calories per minute, as many as a gruelling boot camp workout! Hula hooping tones and strengthens the abs, back, arms, legs as well as improving posture, balance, co-ordination and flexibility.
Hula hoop classes can involve hula hooping not just on the waist, but on all the different parts of your body – waist, knees, feet, hands, arms, elbows, chest, shoulders, neck – and even face and nose!
One thing you might not realise about hula hooping, is that it has benefits for mental health and well as physical health. You are exercising your brain as well as your body. As you learn a new skill when you hula hoop, and constantly learn new ways of moving your body, using both hands and different parts of our body to manipulate the hoop and react to its movement, both sides of your brain are engaged and creating new neural pathways in your brain, firing up your brain cells into activity. It’s a powerful combination.
A side effect of the sense of reward and achievement from learning a new skill and seeing yourself improve, is that the reward centre of your brain is activated, it makes you feel great - and improves your self esteem, self confidence and body positivity.
One thing is for sure, it is definitely not just child’s play any more! But don't just take my word for it. Find your local hula hoop class and give it a spin! You can find local hula hoop groups on Facebook, and if you are in the West Midlands check out my classes in Oldbury and Dudley. If you are trying at home and not having much success, get in touch and I can help you out - and make sure you are using an adult hoop, not a kids hoop. Check out my beginners waist hooping tutorial here for some tips on keeping it up.