Happy hump day everyone! I hope this lovely Wednesday finds you well.
Today I thought I'd share a few pictures and some of the details from a little fun that was had by myself and two friends this weekend. Fun and fitness combined - something a little different, that may well cast you back to your childhood days. Did you ever spend hours on end in the garden trying to master the art of the hula hoop? Well trust me this skill doesn't get much easier as you get older - but it does provide you with an afternoon of fun and giggles whilst getting you moving at the same time.
I came across Flying Fantastic whilst running some research for something else I was doing at the time. An alternative fun gym offering aerial fitness and circus skill classes in two different London locations, Farringdon and Battersea. Instantly attracted to the promise of their Hula Hoop course I managed to rope in some willing participants and quickly booked our spaces for the day. And so we looked forward in anticipation!
The appeal of this particular course was that aside from the actual hula activity itself, we would get to make, decorate and keep our own hoops. Out popped the inner child that said 'yes please that sounds like fun' and so our attendance was assured.
The first hour of the two hour session is therefore spent doing just that. Now we actually thought we would be given blank hoops so to speak and then spend our time decorating them. But no - we were to make the hoops from scratch, with a simple stretch of tubing, a connector and a sink full of hot water.
After a little time spent soaking our tubing to soften it in order to fit the connector, much fun was had trying to push the hoop together to make that all important and coveted hula. Harder than it might sound.
Once connected the fun began. Using tape in an assortment of colours we settled in to first wrap the hoop in a base layer and then jazz it up with a separate and more appealing sparkly layer! The tape isn't just for show though - it plays an important part in adding grip to the hoop to enable you to perform better tricks and to provide easier hula-ing. Of course they also look much nicer that way and we certainly got creative as we all went a little tape crazy. Unfortunately my taping skills and lack of patience made it harder than it needed to be - but once in my stride, and after a little expert guidance, I was off.
The second hour of the session was spent actually learning how to use our hoop - not as easy as it might sound, well from my perspective anyway. The simple act of keeping the hula hoop up around my waist was quite a challenge in itself - and an exhausting one at that. This really is a great form of exercise that is guaranteed to increase your heartbeat and get you sweating!
As I tried quietly at the back of the class to master the basics and actually keep my hoop on my hips for more than a few seconds, as well as try to hula in the opposite direction for balance, others moved on to some more exciting tricks. I tried them too, just maybe not so elegantly.
As we experimented with the hoop on various arms, legs, hips and knees we all gave everything our best shot and it was hula hoops galore as we threw our hoops in different directions trying not to hit each other. Much laughter, very tiring and absolutely great fun.
This was a great way to spend a couple of hours with friends, having a giggle, learning a new skill and getting in some fitness to boot. Much healthier than the usual pub and bottle of wine route that we might usually embark on together on a Saturday (although don't get me wrong, that's fun too!) we really enjoyed ourselves and came away in great spirits.
The only thing no-one ever considered was getting three large hula hoops home on the train and the strange looks that this inevitably invites from confused passers by!
Next on our to-do list might just be a bit of trapeze or a go on the aerial silks - who knows. Or maybe we'll stick to hula for now and build up to those! Either way great fun was had and I'd highly recommend giving something like this a go if you feel inclined or intrigued to do so. Lots of fun and a great workout, not a bad way to spend a few hours of your day.