There’s something about hula hoops that makes people young and old remember their  childhoods. But did you know that hula hoops can be used for more than just fun?
According to Trish Hayes, owner of Whole Lotta Hoopin’ in Bangor, hoops are a great way to get exercise and burn calories.
“They’re a lot of fun,” Hayes said. “The hoops we use are larger and weighted. Once you get going, it’s easy to keep them in motion. And it’s a good full-body workout that’s low impact.”
Hayes is a certified Hoopnotica instructor; Hoopnotica includes both “hula” hoop dance and hoopfit. She also custom creates hula hoops that are ideal for dance and fitness, using water as the weight mechanism.
The hula hoop dates back 1,000 years, Hayes said, even though it gained “fad” status in the 1950s. Hoops have been used in Native American dancing and in native cultures for recreation and artistic expression.
As a fitness tool, hoops began gaining popularity in California in the 1990s, Hayes said. About a year ago, she got tuned into the craze and decided to give it a try.
Since then, she’s been teaching hooping classes at local adult education classes in Bangor, Hermon, and Orono/Old Town and for private functions such as birthday parties.
“Hooping is a head-to-toe workout,” she said. “You can do it standing and tone core muscles while burning 400-600 calories an hour. It’s a lot of fun, and we have a lot of laughs.”
Hayes sells hoops and helps people custom decorate their hoops as well. Hoops start at $20.
“Anyone can do it if they give it a shot,” she said. “It takes about 300 revolutions in each direction to get the imprint of hooping ingrained. And this is a low-cost fitness program. You can stand in your living room and hoop.”
For information about Whole Lotta Hoopin’, visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/wholelottahoopinfun, call 404-4051, or email wholelottahoopin@gmail.com.