Hula hooping for exercise, you ask?
Hula hooping and hula hoop dance is a flow arts movement discipline involving, you guessed it – a hula hoop – that naturally brings more awareness into our bodies. We combine skill and creative expression to eventually achieve a state of present-moment awareness known as “flow.”
Hula hooping has a stigma of being just for kids but in reality, many adult yogis, dancers, and festival enthusiasts crave the benefits of hula hooping.
And you might too! How would you like a workout that lets you move to your favorite tunes, gets you naturally “high,” burns more calories than a treadmill, and strengthens your entire body?
Just like yoga, hooping is a body and mind movement that helps us focus our minds, and at the same time train our physical abilities.
If you’re thinking Oh yes, pleaaase!, then read on . . .
Here Are 6 Benefits of Hula Hooping and Why It Feeds Your Body, Mind, and Soul:
1. It Works Your Entire Body (Including Your Brain)
Did you know that one hour of hula hooping burns the same amount of calories as an hour of running on a treadmill on an average speed (400 kcal/hour)? Plus, when you improve and add more movements, you’ll burn even more.
And if you hula hoop dance regularly, feel free to ease up on crunches too!
The motion of rocking the hula hoop back and forth around your waist activates your deep core muscles, trims your waistline, and improves your overall balance.
Hula hooping also improves the cognitive function of your brain.
As a side effect, you will also improve on balancing yoga poses!
Oh, and it doesn’t end there! Hula hooping also improves the cognitive function of your brain.
How? When you dance with your hula hoop, your right brain focuses on the melody of the music while your left brain makes sure you move to the rhythm.
This communication between your left and right brain hemispheres promotes cognitive function, ensuring that your brain stays sharp and healthy.
2. It’s a Moving Meditation That “Hoop-notizes” You
Keeping your hula hoop moving around your waist requires focus and deep belly breathing.
Once you master waist hooping, you’ll be able to enjoy the repetitive movement, enter the state of flow, and let go of all unnecessary thoughts for a while. This hypnotic movement will relax your mind and create an active moving meditation. This is where hula hoop dance comes into play!
Later on, you’ll notice that this is one of the best benefits of hula hooping because of its impact in the form of stress and anxiety release, a clearer mind, and the ability to easily focus.
3. It’s a Self-Love Tool
Just like a yoga mat, standing inside your big plastic circle might quickly become your happy place: a place to play, love yourself, be silly, and be okay with being the way you are and the way you look.
This space becomes a place to explore the way your body moves, what it likes, what it struggles with, and where it can improve. Inside your hula hoop, you’re free to be as wild or as chilled as you wish. There are no limitations.
After your hoop dance sesh, you might realize you’ve just done heaps of goodness for your body and it felt f****n’ awesome!
4. You’ll Get a Delish Body Massage for Free (Anytime, Anywhere)
The constant bumping of the hula hoop on your body creates a yummy body massage for your belly, back, and inner organs.
The best? While it’s not a fancy full-body Thai massage, you can access it anytime and anywhere for FREE without anyone’s help. Can it get any better than that?
5. It Produces a Cocktail of Feel-Good Hormones
Now onto the best part. One of the absolute best benefits of hula hooping is the happy hormones blend!
As you already know, hula hooping is quite an intense cardio workout. Just like with any cardio, after around 20 minutes of moving your body, you’ll start to release endorphins (the “runner’s high” happy hormones).
Combine this with creating choreography for hula hoop dance, getting playful with your dance flow, and you’ll also produce dopamine – the hormone of satisfaction.
You might start to accept yourself, and love your entire YOU.
Our bodies form dopamine when we eat sugar or check social media. Why not instead get it from a healthier source such as messing around with your hula hoop?
Finally, oxytocin. The hormone of looooooove. Same as with yoga, while you hula hoop, you might experience feelings of love toward yourself, your body, and even the parts of yourself that you may not be the proudest of. You might start to accept yourself, and love your entire YOU.
Putting all these three hormones together might work just like a natural anti-depressant or a “pill of joy.” Sounds too good to be true? Try it and find out yourself!
6. You’ll Gain a Soulful and Supportive Community of Hoopers (Your “Flowmies”)
Similar to the huge beautiful community of yogis all around the world, hula hoopers and flow artists have their community too. Everywhere.
No matter where in the world you go, you can always meet someone who spins. Then, you can jam together, progress together, and – who knows – maybe become great friends.
Unlike many other fitness communities, the hula hoop community isn’t competitive. Hoopers love to support each other, play together, and are aware of everyone being on their own journey. If you’re a beginner shy to join your local hoop-jam, remember this and go for it!
The easiest way to find hoop jams in your area is through Facebook groups. Just type in the search bar name of your city + hoop/flow/fire/spinner + community and usually you’ll find info on events.
This method has helped me to connect with awesome hoopers even in small cities in Europe, Australia, and Asia. So, even if you doubt there’s a hoop dance community where you live, you might be surprised!
Ready to Try It? Here Are 3 Steps to Kickstart Your Hula Hoop Journey:
Alright. Alright. You’re convinced. The benefits of hula hooping sound too good to not try, right?
But where do you start?
1. Get the Right Sized Hoop
Firstly, let’s get the main tool: the hula hoop! You can either buy it at your local hula hoop studio (if you have one) or order it online from Etsy, Amazon, or specific online hula hoop stores.
As a total beginner, start with a bigger and heavier hula hoop (around 34 inches) that, when standing up, reaches up to your navel.
2. Embrace YouTube Learning or Find Your Flowmies
The best way to learn to hula hoop is from YouTube tutorials (I recommend the Deanne Love channel) or by joining a local hula hoop class (if you have one in your area).
Online tutorials are a great place to begin, however later on, it’s more fun to hoop with others and make hula hoop friends. If you have the chance to attend a hula hoop class or a flow-jam, give it a try!
3. Have Fun and Play
The last thing left to do is to practice, get wild, giggle, and enjoy all the epic benefits of hula hooping!
The Benefits of Hula Hooping Are Too Good to Miss
After your first hula hoop session, your abdominals might get a little bit sore, and heck, you might even be exhausted (depending on your stamina).
However, as you keep practicing, your stamina will improve, your core muscles will strengthen, hula hooping and the tricks will get easier, and you’ll feel more relaxed and calmer.
You might even become a hoop addict – you’ve been warned! Happy hooping!