Hoop It Up!

Hoop It Up!

What if we told you that you could have fun and get fit with an activity that will bring you back to your childhood? You may associate the hula hooping craze with the fifties, but the modern version of hula hoop involves a larger, weighted hoop, and a whole lot of calorie burn! A recent ACE Fitness study found that hula hooping burned approximately seven calories per minute, that’s nearly as many calories as a boot camp or kickboxing class!

The fitness component may be what draws many people to try out hula hoop classes, but it’s the fun and excitement of the activity that will keep bringing them back! Here at the YWCA Central Massachusetts, Hula Hoop Fit is offered twice a week. Instructor Kari Whitney described what attracted her to this workout: “One of my students described the Hula Hoop Fit class as ‘a new kind of workout that doesn’t feel like working out’ and I agree completely,” she said. “I got hooked on hooping, after taking a learn to hoop class, with a friend – I realized that I was getting a really great cardiovascular workout and toning my core all while laughing and having a good time.”

So how can an activity that dates back thousands of years help you reach your fitness goals? The ACE Fitness study found that hula hooping rated as “somewhat hard” on a scale used to measure physical exertion. This result means participants can expect an improvement in cardiovascular health, muscle conditioning, flexibility, and balance.

The fact that the class is fun also helps keep participants coming back for more. Endorphins levels rise through the physical activity, and spirits also improve through the fun class. This can lead to many other positive benefits including stress relief and relaxation, and even decreased levels of depression.

Ann Gifford has been attending the class since it first began here at the YWCA. She also takes water aerobics, and initially joined as a way to strengthen her core and help her arthritis, but it’s the fun factor that really keeps her coming back. “It’s fun,” she said. “Everyone laughs, and we all encourage each other, and it’s just a pleasure to be there. The hour goes by so fast, and I just love it!”

For our current class schedule click here.


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