Hula-Hooping Fun: From the White House to Your Backyard

Today’s post comes from Jessica Wignall*, a professional hula hoop instructor in Concord MA. This is a fun topic for those seeking outdoor play ideas for the summer!

All parents want their children to have fun while moving their bodies. We know that active children have healthier diets, better sleeping habits, and a greater ability to focus. Children naturally want to have fun when they exercise, which increases physical coordination, strength, brain function, and joyfulness!  This is where hula hooping comes in…

According to the American Council on Exercise, hula hooping is considered a low intensity aerobic activity that can increase cardiovascular fitness and tone muscles. It is no wonder that hula hooping was included as an activity at the White House health and fitness expo where we witnessed the first lady giving it a whirl! Hula hooping is gaining  tremendous legions of fans because it offers so many positive benefits for the body and the mind. Here are some of the benefits of hooping:

  • Increases core fitness by strengthening the waist, hips, and knees.
  • Low impact on growing joints.
  • Increases blood flow, revitalizing brain and body.
  • Increases coordination and body awareness.
  • Activates large muscle groups, burning fat and promoting lean muscle development.
  • Hooping can grow with you as you learn how to develop and master new skills and increase your hooping repertoire.

History of Hooping
Hula hooping is an ancient practice. It received the name “hula hoop” from British soldiers returning from the Hawaiian Islands in the 1800s. Hula hooping came out as a fad in the late 1950s when it was trademarked and introduced as an inexpensive toy. Recently, thanks in part to the First Lady, hula hooping has seen a dramatic increase in popularly as a form of fitness and creative movement for the young and young at heart.

Keeping it Moving
Hula hooping is referred to as hooping or hoop-dance by enthusiasts and is popping up in fitness clubs and performance troupes all over the world.  Hooping is very easy.  All you need are three simple things:

1) a hoop

2) a little space

3) music (optional).

The basic idea is to keep the hoop moving for as long as you can.  This can be mastered as it spins anywhere from your fingertips to your ankle.  The possibilities are endless, which makes hooping an activity that you can learn for a lifetime.

This post was found on Barefoots Books blog. Please visit their website at:


Published by Cara Zara

Professional entertainer and educator Cara Zara has performed at festivals, events, libraries, charity functions, and summer camps throughout the Southeast and has interacted with over 250,000 children. She has been teaching her popular programs since 2011 and has taught at over 200 private and public schools throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. She loves inspiring children to learn and be physically active through fun movement and laughter.

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