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I know, I hear you. “A hula-hoop? For real?” And I am. One hundred percent. Hooping is not just for kids or extremely dexterous circus troupe members anymore. Adding a hula-hoop into your routine can be an excellent step in taking control of your physical and mental well-being.

Here are my top five reasons for finding your orbit:

#1. The physical rewards are no joke.

Not only is hula-hooping good for building your abdominal core, but it can strengthen your back, buns and thighs as well. Throw in some arm weights and it's great for your upper body, too! Even the Mayo Clinic has chimed in, reporting that women on average lose 165 calories every half hour. Pretty good stuff.

#2. The emotional benefits are just as rewarding.

Hooping is fun and, like any proper workout, releases stimulating endorphins, relieves tension and fosters good vibes. Finding your flow can also be an excellent practice in focusing and calming your mind. At the end of a stressful day, I can't wait to throw on my hoop and spin away all my worries.

#3. There are so many ways (and places) to hoop.

A while back, I decided to challenge myself to hula-hoop through an episode of my favorite television show. Suddenly, I found myself regularly working out during a time when I usually had my feet on the coffee table. Since then, I've found I can hoop doing any number of things, from reading to playing video games. It's easy to incorporate hooping into your daily routine and create an enjoyable escape for yourself that also burns calories.

Additionally, many hoops are collapsible, meaning you can easily fold them up to take virtually anywhere. Take it to the drum circle at Siesta Key, to the park or your friend's bachelorette party, where you'll impress the other guests by hooping and drinking champagne. Hoop wherever you please. The world is your hooping oyster!

#4. It's a cheap investment.

Once you've acquired the physical hoop, you're good to go. There are no maintenance costs or monthly charges. My personal favorite is Hoop Mama's classic ultra-grip, which starts at $25.95, meaning you can reap ongoing rewards with little financial commitment. Though with all the fun colors and customizable features available, sometimes it's hard to stop at just one hoop.

Pro tip: Those tiny hoops you find on store end-caps are nearly impossible for an adult to keep up, because they are made for children. Measure from the tips of your toes to right above your navel to find the proper diameter for your hoop. Also, keep in mind that a weighted hoop can be easier for a beginner to keep afloat.

#5. Become part of the hooping community.

Seeing someone else with a hoop is like bumping into a member of the same club. It's a fun, immediate connection. Sarasota is home to a number of hoop communities who host regular “hoop jams,” such as Outward Spiral and Peace, Love, & Hoopiness. Joining is an excellent way to make new friends, inspire one another and get to know the personality of your neighborhood.

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