I haven’t hula hooped in a long time (probably not since grade school), and I didn’t anticipate hula hooping anytime soon. That was until I tried a free hoop dancing class offered by the 34th Street Partnership. The class promised to burn fat by combining the beloved pastime of hula with elements of dance – and a 1.5-pound hoop.
Class participants ranged from kids to grandparents, and everyone in between. I was embarrassingly overdressed in a pair of gym shorts and a tank top — I had come ready to work out, while most other people had come straight off the street after a day of sightseeing. My getup was the least of anyone’s concerns, though: Everyone was preoccupied with hula-hooping.
While I can’t really say I felt like I was dancing or exercising, I can say that I enjoyed myself. We started with traditional hooping around our waists, then learned how to bring the hoops up to our chests and back down around our hips. It turns out I’m a pretty slick hooper: I didn’t drop the hoop nearly as many times as I thought I would, and I managed to avoid hitting any children in the head.
My hips were a little sore by the time I got home, but I didn’t feel the abdominal burn I was hoping for the next morning. If you’re looking for an intense workout, obviously hula hooping isn’t the way to go. But if you’ve got space in your living room, it’s not a bad way to get some mindless, low-impact exercise while you’re watching TV. I plan on picking up a hula hoop of my as soon as I move into my new apartment. (Hopefully my new roommate doesn’t have anything fragile.)