Could hula hooping be the new boot camp?

Bree Kirk-Burnnand says hula hooping has turned her life around.

Bree Kirk-Burnnand says hula hooping has turned her life around.
Three years ago, the 31-year-old was an accountant with a sedentary lifestyle.

 “I wasn’t even close to being fit,” says Bree. “I sat at my desk all day and I didn’t really have any exercise routine or a healthy diet.”
But since she started ‘hooping’ three years ago, Bree is in great shape and says she feels fantastic.

“I lost five kilos and I did it in a really fun enjoyable way without even really even intending to lose weight.”

Bree is now passionate about exercising through the fun of hula hooping, just like many of us did in the schoolyard or backyard as kids.

“It makes you feel like a kid again and it’s not as hard as people think it is,” she says. 

 “It’s a sense of play, when you’re a kid you don’t get on a treadmill to exercise you go outside and play,” says Bree. “For adults we tend to forget that playing is actually exercise and that’s an acceptable way to keep fit.”

A study by the American Council on Exercise found hula hooping for 30 minutes can burn seven calories or 29  kilojoules per minute, which is similar to a boot camp class.

“The results are also similar to a kickboxing class which can be a really intimidating form of exercise, but hula hooping is quite gentle, it’s low impact and it’s fun, which is probably the most important thing.”

Bree says for her hooping isn’t just about exercise, it’s also a great stress reliever.

“There’s something about the rhythm of the hoop that means you can’t be thinking of anything else, it really centres you.”

“Without even intentionally doing it, it’s practicing mindfulness in a really subtle way,” Bree says. “It’s something you get really addicted to.”

Bree is so devoted to the activity she gave up accounting to teach hula hooping full time.

 “It really has started a bit of a craze and trend.”

Bree is now hoping to spin her way into the record books, with the most hula hoops spun by an individual.

The current record is 162 hoops.

“I’m pretty close; I’m building up to it.”

“It does take a lot of training,” says Bree. “I’ve been hooping three times a day for at least 3 months.”

Bree’s advice for those starting out is to make sure you have the right size hoop.

“The bigger the hoop, the slower it goes around so it gives you more time to get used to the rhythm,” says Bree.
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