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Have You Heard About Pregnant Hula Hooping?

Over the course of the last several weeks I’ve been invited to a hula hooping class in Harlem, seen a home-hooping video via a friend’s Facebook update, and noticed a new rack of hoops for sale at the local toy store. There was a recent New York Times piece about the trend and Michelle Obama hooped on the White House Lawn. Then today I learned that pregnant women hoop, too! So I did a little investigating:

It’s all about hooping. orghoopnotica and hooprama. On these sites there are instructions, testimonials, links, hoops for sale. For pregnant women there’s a blog devoted to pregnancy/postpartum including a story from a pregnant hooper about how hooping changed her life. These hoopers are really serious, even spiritual: FAQ: “What does it mean to find yourself in the Hoop?”

According to one blog post I read, pregnant women should use light weight hoops. And, as with any exercise when pregnant it helps if you’ve been doing some similar level of working out all along. But it appears to be completely harmless. You can check with your doctor or midwife if there is some reason you shouldn’t hoop.

Health benefits of this low-impact, aerobic workout include: increased energy, improved balance, flexibility, mood. According to hoopnotica, hooping “clears and quiets the mind” and reduces stress. This all sounds so good but I imagine that when I was pregnant I may have felt kinda stressed trying to gyrate with my loose ligaments and compromised gravitational center. Still, maybe it’s worth a try.

I’ve bought my hoop and I’m going to find myself in it. My core is very un-core like these days (it’s more of a smore–some underlying structure but mostly marshmellow). And since I loathe crunches (even the word “crunch”: shivers) the hoop may be my only hope.

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