Hooping for arthritis

I can go on for hours about the many millions of benefits of hula hooping. When I first started, I was just looking for an exercise to improve my general fitness. Hooping certainly did that, but one benefit I didn’t expect was the improvement in my joints.

Before I started hooping, my knees and hips were decidedly dodgy. Arthritis is everywhere in my family and although I never got a diagnosis, I assume that’s where I was heading. I had got to the point where I was developing a bit of a hobble and I was sometimes in quite a lot of pain.

Two years of hooping later, my knees have never been so good, they don’t click any more and they are totally pain free. My hips are about 80% better. They ache a bit sometimes but they aren’t painful at all.

I’ve done a bit of research to see if other hoopers have had similar experiences. I found this lady who, as an older hooper, lost weight and dramatically improved her arthritis. She also manages to persuade a fireman to have a go which can only be a good thing!

The following is advice from Arthritis Research UK:

Many people are afraid to exercise because they believe – mistakenly – that exercise causes further damage to their joints. But your body is designed to move, and not doing so can be harmful to the tissues in and around the joints. Keeping active will help to keep your joints supple and can also reduce pain.  Motivation is a key issue. Often we start a new type of exercise with enthusiasm, only to give up after a few weeks. The important thing is to set realistic goals, to do some form of exercise that you enjoy and to do it regularly. You may find that your goals change as your condition changes, and this is perfectly normal. – See more at: http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-and-daily-life/exercise-and-arthritis/how-do-i-get-started.aspx#sthash.UsrLIwRo.dpuf

Regular exercise can:

  • help to ease stiffness
  • improve movement in your joints
  • strengthen muscles
  • keep your heart healthy
  • help you lose weight, putting less strain on your joints
  • help you strengthen bones and maintain bone density.

Everyone can benefit from some form of exercise, regardless of their condition. Often you’ll feel much better and more self-confident when you’ve done some exercise. Feeling positive can really affect the way you cope with a condition.

– See more at: http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-and-daily-life/exercise-and-arthritis/why-is-exercise-important.aspx#sthash.GCitn78W.dpuf

For improving joints it is recommended that people do Stretching, Strengthening and Fitness exercises. Hooping does all of these in a low impact way. Using the hoop for warm up and cool down exercises do the stretching bit;  the small, repetitive movements of keeping the hoop spinning do the strengthening bit;  and the continuous movement increases heart rate and does the fitness bit.

Some hoop tricks may not be suitable for all people so always tell your instructor about any health issues you might have. Check with a doctor if you are worried about starting a new exercise too.