Tuesday, 28 August 2012
What's the buzz about hooping?
Every hooper has their own reasons to love hooping, and today I want to share with you why I am so crazy about it.
I love how accessible hooping is. All I need to practise is my hoop and enough room to swing it. I don't need to pack a bag, wear special clothing, or be home from work at a certain time. I can practise in the living room while I'm watching the rugby league on telly and at work during my lunch break. Anyone who can stand on their two feet can hoop - it doesn't matter if you're young, old, male, female, fit or unfit, thin or fat.
I love how hooping makes me feel. It's great exercise that doesn't feel like exercise. I can put on some catchy tunes, pick up my hoop, and before I know it an hour has passed by. I'm not thinking about how my abs are getting a good workout or how my legs are being strengthened. I'm just rocking out and having fun.
If you want to be a good hoopdancer, you have to work hard - but it's a form of dance that rewards hard work. At the start of this year I took up adult ballet classes and although they were fun, after six months I had not improved my ballet skills at all. I could tell that any improvements, if any, would take a long, long time.
Hooping isn't like that. I remember, as a very green newbie hooper, looking at hooping videos on YouTube and despairing of ever being able to do those moves. Now, five months later, I can do most of them. I don't consider myself a good hooper - yet - but my skills over the past five months have improved more than I ever could have hoped for. And I know I'm not unusual in this. Lara Eastburn of Superhooper describes hooping as "not easy, but much easier than you think".
A lot has been made of hooping's ability to help women lose weight. Well, I can only speak from my own experience. I haven't lost weight - in fact, I've gained some weight since I began hooping. And yet, my clothes are noticeably looser ... people have asked me if I've lost weight ... most importantly, I feel better about my body than I have since I don't know when. Slowly, muscle seems to be developing in my body [which explains the thinner-but-heavier thing]. I even have abs - woo-hoo!
But none of these things would mean anything to me if hooping wasn't fun. I hate exercise for the sake of it, which is why you'll never see me running or on a treadmill. Exercise has to be fun for me to commit. And there's few things more fun in my life than hooping.