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The Joy of Hooping

Kat Suwalski is an Hoopnotica fitness instructor and the owner of WildKat Hoops. She recently shared her story with Patch.

They come in pretty colors, some of them light up and many of them make noise. They are hula hoops and they are changing the face of fitness.

Kat Suwalski is a Hoopnotica trainer and the owner of WildKat Hoops, which she started with the help of her friend Madison Adams.

“We craft specialized customizable hoops, hold hooping classes for a fabulous cardio workout, host birthday parties and other events,” the Wildkat Hoops website reads.

For Suwalski hooping is about joy and fitness.

“It took me about two weeks to get the thing to spin,” she said. “But the reality is if you can sit and get out of bed, you can hoop. The secret is not in spinning your waist but in rocking back and forth.”

Hooping has been around since the time of the Egyptians, but was made popular in the 1950’s when a toy company called Wham-O made a plastic hoop. Hoops are made out of polyethylene tubing and should not weigh more than two pounds to avoid bruising. Hoops range from 34 to 42 inches.

“Hooping is great for a cardio workout,  joint flexibility and mobility,” Suwalski said. “It is all about physics and object manipulation You do have to be more intimate with your body as you move the hoop based on which part of you it’s touching.”

Suwalski stuck with it in the beginning because she refused to be beaten by a child’s toy. As both a personal trainer, a Russian Kettle Ball instructor and an opera singer, Suwalski is used to being on stage, but she never anticipated that hooping would be her livelihood.

“I can now almost support myself with hooping,” Suwalski said.

Suwalski loves hooping for many reasons, but notes that it is terrific for any age and brings her great joy.

“My grandmother hoops now,” Suwalski said. “It strengthens the core and works on balance so I worry less about her falling. It's also great for kids, particularly those with special needs, as it keeps them in the moment."

Hooping is often used for meditation.

“Classes are taught to music,” Suwalski said. “It is a great meditation tool as you are in the moment and feeling the constant rhythm of the hoop spinning around your body You can close your eyes, relax your mind and just feel.”

If you have never hooped before, Suwalski is happy to get you started in one of her start up classes

“It takes time to get your body and the hoop in sync,” she said. “Come to class with an open mind.”

Kat now teaches ten classes a week in various MetroWest locations. Visit her website to see where she will be next.

"This is the first thing I’ve done in my life that has brought me such great joy,” Suwalski said. “I am an opera singer and an actress so I belong on stage, but this has transformed my life and made me confident enough to start my own business. I am so happy I want everyone to drink my Kool-Aid."

To learn more about Hoopnotica or WildKat Hoops visit the websites.

Paul Willitts March 21, 2012 at 08:03 PM
My son was the boys state champion in Hula Hoops about 30 years ago, He competed representing the Framingham Recreation Dept. as part of their summer program. I can't remember the name of the song he performed to but I do remember "He ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch him; down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico".
Faith Mayer March 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM
That's such a cool story, Paul. My 11-year-old daughter hoops like it's a part of her body. I can barely make the darn thing spin, but mark my words, I'm going to learn!!
Kathleen Suwalski March 23, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Faith, When ever you have time, my door is always open. Kat

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