Iâ€™m always looking for the most fun way to exercise. Iâ€™ve come to the conclusion that I definitely need to work outâ€”so why shouldnâ€™t I pick an activity that I actually enjoy?
First, I found pole dancing, and my interest was piqued. Now, Iâ€™ve found something else even more exciting: hoop dancing.
Many people hear of hoop dance and automatically think about a hula hoop. However, while hoop danceâ€™s roots are found in hula hooping, the two dance styles are extremely different. Hoop dance has been around since ancient Egyptian times. It was used for weight loss and also as a creative outlet. Hula hooping became a craze in the 1950s and was seen as a childâ€™s game more than anything else.
Native Americans have a deep background with hoop dance. Spiritual leaders and medicine men would perform ritualistic dances with hoops. While this may have caused an impact on what hoop dance is today, Native American hoop dance was far more ritualistic and focused on the dancerâ€™s harmony with nature.
So first, letâ€™s break down the benefits that come from hoop dancing:
- Works on your ab muscles
- Jumpstarts your metabolism
- Tones your buns, arms, and thighs
- Relieves stress
- Builds core strength
- Provides intense cardio
- Improves coordination and balance
- Increases flexibility
- Opens up for creative self-expression
That all sounds good to me. But what do I need to get started? Apparently, I would need a specialized hoopâ€”a kidâ€™s hula hoop simply wonâ€™t work. There are lots of specialized hoop dancing hoops available, most notable from Your Hoop, Hoopnotica, and Spiral Hoop Dance. There are instructional DVDs available, and there are also local classes offered pretty much everywhere.
So if youâ€™re like I am and are constantly trying to find a â€œfunâ€ way to exercise, give hoop dancing a tryâ€”you might just love it.
(Image Source: Hoop Dance DC)