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Hooping for health, and happiness


20 MF-Powerhoop copy-819A new resident to Mangawhai will soon be able to offer a chance for others to relive some childhood fun from ‘back in the day’.

Twirling a plastic hoop around one’s waist to establish a rolling rhythmic speed to prevent the band slipping to the ankles, occupied many children’s playtimes.

However, hula-hooping has now evolved into ‘powerhooping’, a new fitness craze which has been rising steadily in popularity throughout New Zealand, with classes in Mangawhai available from January 2017.

Early childhood teacher, Laughing Yoga instructor and power hooping enthusiast and trainer, 43-year-old Nicci Mullholland-Dobbs, discovered hooping 14 months ago and says it was love at first sight.

“It’s been the one thing I’ve stuck too,” she says. “I’ve always been conscious of my body size. I don’t like gyms and the feeling you have to be slim and fit before you even go. With hooping you can go to a class or do it at home in your pajamas while watching TV if you wish and there’s just a one-off cost to get started.”

The mother of three adult children, who express wonder at their mum’s new-found abs, says she lost 15kg through the fun exercise but says hooping has many other health benefits.

“It is good for your posture, strengthens your inner core, great for pelvic floor and, due to the massaging of the hoop around your stomach, also helps with digestion,” Nicci says. “It’s taken me my whole life to feel good about my body and thanks to hooping, I can honestly say now that I do.”

Created in Norway in 2000, powerhooping was brought to New Zealand’s shores four years ago by Scottish woman Amy McCally and classes are now established in 14 communities from the deep south of Te Anau to Mangawhai.

To those who wonder if they can still ‘hoop it up’, to begin with the exercise only requires three minutes of twirling each side to acquire technique as well as to prevent surface bruising. Time gradually increases to ten minutes per side with weights added to the specially designed hoop to add more challenge.

“It suits all body types and ages from 14 years and up, even had a 75-year-old in one group,” Nicci says. “In the classes we play games, throw balls, walk around and even run while hooping. My thing is, it has to be fun.”

n Classes begin at Mangawhai Domain on January 9. Tuesdays 6.15am, 1pm and 8pm. Thursdays 6.15am, 1pm and 7.15pm. $15 per class with $5 for hoop hire. Concession tickets $120 for 10 classes. For more info phone Nicci on 021 170 1267 or Facebook powerhoopingmangawhaiwithNicci.

HAPPY HOOPER: Powerhooping enthusiast, Nicci Mullholland-Dobbs shows her skill. Starting up classes is about ‘showing people a fun way to get fit’ she says.
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