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As a little girl, I loved to hula hoop!  I would have contests with my friends to see who could last the longest.  We even created new ways to show off our skills by hooping around the neck, around the arms and jumping through the hoop itself.  Who new that all of that would later help me get the hang of a fun new workout.  It’s called hooping or hoopdance and I had the pleasure of taking a class recently.  Needless to say, I am addicted again!

Here’s the scoop…hooping is a full body workout that incorporates hula hooping and dance (with a larger, heavier hoop than the kiddos use) to strengthen your core and tone your body.  Hooping provides a low-impact, intense cardio workout that helps increase flexibility, develop balance and coordination and shed the pounds.  Not to mention, it’s the most fun you’ll have burning 400-800 calories per hour! 

I took a class taught by Penny Rowbotham with Hoop Dancers DFW (www.hoopdancersdfw.com), who happens to be a hOOpnotica certified instructor.  I was psyched about how much I remembered from back in the day…I could keep the hoop up, could walk back and forth and in circles while hooping.  The more advanced, technical moves were a bit more difficult though.  I managed to get the hang of the “halo” which is where the hoop rotates around a hand raised over your head.  That was about as technical as I could get at the time.  I haven’t invested in a hOOpnotica video yet but do have plans to purchase one soon on their website www.hoopnotica.com.    

In the meantime, I’ve decided to give myself a mini-challenge.  If hooping can burn up to 800 calories an hour, it’s definitely something I need to incorporate into my routine.  For the next two weeks, I’m going to crank up the iPod and hoop for as long as I can each day.  I’ll record my starting weight, measurements, and how many minutes I hoop each day to see how much progress I can make in two week’s time.  One of the ladies who took the same class I did has lost 10 pounds in a month by using her hoop every day.  Now that’s progress!  

I doubt I’ll ever be as good of a hooper as hOOpnotica founder Rayna McInturf, but check out this demo from their first instructional video…

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