Venus Williams Love-Loves HoopDance! Venus Williams got into the hoop recenlty at an Intro to HoopnoticaDance class taught by Hoopnotica Founder & CEO Gabbi Rose at Jamba Juice's FiTrends Expo in Santa Monica, CA this week! Venus served up perfect hooping form during the twenty minute demo that broke down foundational HoopDance moves for the class participants. We're so thrilled to see such an incredible athlete take to hooping and have a blast discovering the magic of hooping for fun and for fitness! Which celebrity would you like to see pick up a hoop and give it a spin?
Elisa Zied is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified personal trainer, freelance writer and author who prides herself on motivating others to find time—and activities—to fit fitness into their schedule on a regular basis. And, guess what? Hooping is her newest obsession! Elisa shares her hooping story and her fit tips for the holidays!  I love to hoop! I could never hoop as a kid (not sure why not—I was athletic, could twirl a baton, do gymnastics and play all kinds of sports, but I guess I never took the time to really learn how to hoop with a hula hoop). I realize now, after all this time, all the fun hooping that I missed out on! I took to the hoop a few years back and began to do it while catching up on DVR’d TV shows. At first, I could only hoop for about 8 seconds but that eventually turned into 30 seconds and then a few minutes. Now I can hoop indefinitely (one day, I’m going to start hooping and just keep going until I can’t do it anymore). In my dream, I’d go for the Guinness Book of World Records for hooping, but the current record is just shy of 75 hours IN A ROW (and who really has THAT kind of time). As a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified personal trainer, freelance writer and author, I pride myself on motivating others to find time—and activities—to fit in fitness on a regular basis. Overweight as a child and young adult, it wasn’t until I was in my mid-late twenties that I lost some weight. Eventually, through more moderate eating and more regular physical activity, I achieved a healthier body weight. I’ve kept off more than 30 pounds since my high weight in high school for more than a decade. And I consider myself a cheerleader for others on both Twitter and Facebook, and often post my own workouts (which now include hooping!). When I post my workouts and see others do the same on social media, I feel we all inspire one another to stay active and to reap the many benefits an active lifestyle provides. I always use—and ask others to use—the hashtag #moveitorloseit when posting daily workouts. Though you may think #moveitorloseit is about weight loss, it’s not. To me, #moveitorloseit is about moving more and staying fit to preserve not only our muscle strength, but our mental strength and vibrancy! Exercising and being active are things I love to do, and I really feel the physical and mental effects when I skip a workout or sit for too many hours on end. Although I love to power walk several times a week, and do weight and core workouts about twice weekly, hooping is something that easily fits into my day. Having a TravelHoop also makes it easy to stay fit when I’m on the road. Once I got into hooping, I could hoop for half hour and barely break a sweat (though I still felt my core strengthening). Now that I can make my hoop smaller, I feel the sweat trickle down my face while I hoop. I also feel it when I reverse the direction mid-way through my hoop workout. (MORE: Watch how you can amp up your Hula Hoop Workout)   What’s your favorite way to hoop, and what other physical activities do you like to do regularly? I’d love to hear from you!   Elisa Zied's newest book, Younger Next Week, will be released Dec. 31st 2013 and is available for pre-order on
Pssst...Don't wait until New Years to reach your fitness goals! This year, lets stay fit during the holidays!  All you need to trim your waist before you trim your Xmas tree is a Fitness Hooping Kit and a few of our go-to tips for giving yourself the gift of health and fitness! There's no time of year like the holiday season!  Whether it's spending more time with friends and family (in my family that means monopoly nights that sometimes include tequila!), traveling to exotic places, sharing gifts, feeling gratitude, or honoring tradition, the holidays are an in-your-face excuse to enjoy life. Then there are the other markers of the holiday season... pants digging into my waistband (or my unbuttoned jeans with a long shirt to hide!), food comas, the climbing numbers on my scale, followed by frantic New Years resolutions. The feeling of losing control of my personal fitness around the holidays can get so intense that it gets in the way of being in the moment and enjoying time with friends and family.... Fifteen pounds into my weight loss journey, I am seeing and feeling the results, and this year I have committed to creating a new holiday experience for myself.  Six weeks of questionable holiday sweets and treats could be enough to set me back right to where I started! Below are some of my tips, as well as some of the best tips I've found that I would like to share with our hooping community because we are not only bound by our shared love of hooping, we are bound by our commitment to health, happiness, and well being.
  • Think 90/10: Don’t deprive yourself completely, or your holidays will be miserable.  Aim to eat healthy 90% of the time and then look at your “treat” foods as something to really savor and enjoy in moderation. (from the The Calorie King)  For me, this means treating myself- just not treating myself so much it's not a treat anymore. (aka stuffing will not be my main food group).

  • Slow Down:  Practice slowing down when you eat.  Savor your food and learn to recognize the signs that you feel full and stop when you do.  Take some time out to think about your journey towards healthier living and visualize your goals. (also from the The Calorie King) Recently an acupuncturist told me to chew 50 times, which seems like a lot, until realized that I was literally swallowing my food whole! Try starting with 25 chews and you'll be amazed at the difference!
  •  Be the Crazy Hoop a good way! If you are going to bring hoops to the party then bring multiple hoops to share with friends (cause we all know crazy cat ladies have more then one cat). Get your friends and family outside hooping with you. By disguising fitness as fun with family and friends you won't feel like you're missing out on the party!
  • Get enough sleep. Holidays can be a stressful time with work parties, family gatherings, and other functions.  This extra stress can have serious affects on your sleep habits.  Little sleep can contribute to increased appetite and weight gain, so aim for 7-8 hours per night. (From the Nutrition Expert) I LOVE this tip, if there is one thing that triggers me to overeat it’s lack of sleep... Nothing like a good nights sleep to make better food choices. 
  • Hoop between courses! One of the most powerful things about Hooping is the way that it helps you to be present in your body. (The hoop is literally a bio-feedback tool, if you’re not present the hoop drops.) I've realized that for me it's usually a lack of presence in my body that keeps me stuck in front of the buffet table at a holiday party eating...and eating...and eating some more....So this Thanksgiving I invite you to try hooping between appetizers, the meal, and the dessert. And if there's a buffet table, having your hoop nearby will help you brake the trance and get you moving.  Use the time in your hoop to check in with your body and burn a extra calories while your at it. (*Approx. 50 calories every 8 minutes!*) -From the Hoopnotica team :)
  • Make your mark on the menu! The Holidays are a great time to take a healthy twist on a favorite recipe. My speciality is pies.  My pattern has been to make sweet buttery bombs that I love to eat and snack on while cooking. (You mean the dough isn’t the best snack food?) So this year, keeping to my commitment of change,  I’m trying something new: grain free pies. I’m using this recipe from My Whole Food for the crust and am adding a special berry twist to the filling. My trial run was delicious! Not only can you indulge in this pie and feel good about it but it is a healthy dish that my whole family can enjoy.
  • EVERY MEAL COUNTS!  Just because you didn't eat a healthy breakfast this morning does NOT mean that the day is ruined.   If you’re going to indulge during ONE meal, that still gives you the opportunity to eat two really great meals, in fact, the next meal becomes the most important meal of the week!  One bad meal does not make you gain weight. It’s when that one bad meal is followed up by a week of bad meals that things get ugly really quickly.  Eat a bad meal and move on! (From Nerd Fitness - gotta love that name) This for me is the single most important piece of advice. One of the challenges I have experienced with food is the “f**k it syndrome”. I used to look at every slip up as an excuse to indulge my next craving.  One slip up and the day was done for so I had might as well make the most of it! This type of thinking was a massive contributor to my weight gain. Looking at every bad food choice as an opportunity to simply choose better in the future is supporting me in my weight-loss. I take it one meal at a time... Now, one slip one does not guarantee another slip up. 
So this are going to be my guideline for the holidays. Now, it's time to stick with them and I would love to hear from you: If you have any great tips of your own to share, please let us know in the comments below and let's all do this together! Melissa Palmer, Hoopnotica CEO   Happy Hooping!!! Melissa Palmer CEO Hoopnotica  


  Ivy Larson, mother, health and fitness pro, author and visionary behind Clean Cuisine and More, turned to hooping at a time in her life when she needed it most: when recovering from a painful hip surgery that prevented her from even walking! Read Ivy's incredible story...   Name: Ivy Larson Hooping hometown: North Palm Beach, FL How long have you been hooping? 5 years   Who introduced you to hooping? A realtor who was showing us our old house was in amazing shape and a good ten years older than me (I am 37 years old now) and it was obvious from looking at her that she exercised. At the time I was having awful hip problems (which I later learned were due to a congenital hip disorder) and having trouble doing my regular workouts because of the pain, so I asked her what she did for exercise. When she told me she HoopDanced I thought she was joking! Even though I was an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist and had been in the fitness industry since I graduated from college I had had never heard of HoopDancing. And, to be honest, I couldn’t fathom how it could actually be real exercise. But the Realtor was so enthusiastic about it and kept insisting we make a “hoop date” that I finally gave in figuring I had nothing to lose.   What was the biggest challenge for you getting started? At first, I couldn’t keep the hoop up! I was a dancer, gymnast and cheerleader in high school and I have always been very well coordinated but, for the life of me, I couldn’t keep the hoop up. It took me a good 45 minutes or so just to learn to keep it up. Once I “got it” I was hooked!   How has hooping changed your life? Because of my severe hip issue, which turned out to be something called Femoral Retroversion (causing premature joint deterioration and chronic hip pain) I needed to undergo a major hip/ leg surgery in 2011 called a “Femoral Derotational Osteotamy” in which my femur was broken in half up near my hip and the shaft was rotated to put my femoral head in the “normal” position. It was a 7 hour surgery done at the Hospital of Special Surgery in NYC and the surgeon put a rod in my leg and screws above my knee and in my hip to hold the rod in place. Not only was the surgery excruciatingly painful, I had a major complication where my bone did not heal and so I couldn’t walk for 7 months. But believe it or not, I was actually able to start hooping before I could walk! Hooping played a major role in my rehab because after the surgery the muscles around my hips were extremely tight and the slightest movement caused pain. Hooping played an integral role in helping me regain my hip mobility, strengthen my core, and eliminate low back pain. Plus, it has enabled me to get a great zero impact ---and fun!!---cardio workout.     How does your hoop practice fit into your daily life? I do a variety of different workouts but the main workout I do is a circuit-style workout with cardio intervals. Where some people might hop on a treadmill or stationary bike to do their cardio intervals, I hoop dance instead! It is much more fun plus I get the added benefit of working my core simultaneously. I also use the hoop as a fitness tool to do a wide variety of ballet, pilates and yoga-inspired toning movements. You can watch a video of the type of workouts I do using the hoop HERE.   What is your job title? I am the founder of and the author of four nutrition / cookbooks, including my most recent, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel (Penguin, 2013). I wrote the books and run the website with my husband, Andy Larson, M.D., who serves as the medical director for our projects. We have a fifth book, a Clean Cuisine cookbook in partnership with Vitamix, scheduled for release in January 2014.   Tell us a little bit more about Clean Cuisine! Clean Cuisine is an anti-inflammatory lifestyle program that I developed with my husband. Our interest in nutrition started back in 1998 when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at just twenty-two years old. At the time my husband was in medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and my neurologist was at the University of Miami. I was told that I could potentially slow the progression of my disease by changing my diet. My husband and I dived into all of the available research on nutrition and we both totally cleaned up our diets. We immediately eliminated processed foods from our diets but over the years we have evolved to a primarily plant-based diet. The way we eat is not only beneficial for people with MS, but it is helpful for anyone with an inflammatory condition and the number one “side benefit” is hunger free weight loss. Because exercise is an important component of reducing inflammation it has always been a part of my lifestyle and part of our books, including our most recent Clean Cuisine book (which incorporates hooping in the workout program). I even have a workout DVD, Full Fitness Fusion, that goes with the book! In January 2014 we will be launching a free online 8-week challenge based on our Clean Cuisine book that will also incorporate hooping.   When did you realize hooping was an activity that you would like to incorporate into the Clean Cuisine lifestyle? It was after my second hip surgery, the big one in 2011 that I realized that it really was an amazing workout that could benefit so many people who are limited with their workout programs due to orthopedic pain and back problems.   How does hooping as a practice align with some of the practices you discuss in your book? I am always looking for time-efficient ways to get fit and hooping really does two things at once; it gives you a great cardio workout and also targets your core muscles. The faster you spin the hoop the higher your heart rate climbs, but with zero impact on your joints! In addition, hooping targets the notoriously neglected transverse abdominal muscles, which improves spinal stability and posture, not to mention does a great job of flattening your stomach.   Have you noticed any physical changes/ changes in your level of physical fitness since you began hooping? Absolutely! I started to really take hooping seriously after the 2nd hip surgery as part of my rehab and just by hooping I was able to get into better shape from a cardiovascular standpoint than before the surgery. I know this because I can tell when I go up the stairs I never get winded! Before the surgery I was so limited with my exercise program that even though I wasn’t overweight I could tell my cardiovascular fitness had declined.   What would you tell someone who is interested in trying hooping but isn’t sure they can succeed? Everyone can learn to hoop! I have since taught numerous group exercise classes and even taught my 87 year old dad how to do it. It takes some people a little longer than others to get the hang of it (I was one of those people!), but if you just make up your mind that you are going to learn how to hoop you can absolutely do it. It’s like riding a bike---everyone can learn to ride a bike. Plus, did you know The American Council on Exercise conducted a study in order to determine the potential cardio and calorie-burning benefits of hooping and the results showed hooping is actually a more effective workout than most other group classes (including boot camp, advanced pilates, power yoga and step aerobics.) Knowing that it is such a great workout is motivating...well, I think so anyway!   Who would you recommend hooping to? Anyone! But especially those who have joint problems.   Quotable Ivy: "Hooping is my favorite way to get my heart rate up."   "Because of hooping I can still get a great cardio workout without putting any stress on my joints."

Hoop for 30 Days

The Hoopnotica 30 for 30 Challenge is over a week underway! At the start of January we made a promise to ourselves (and to our hoops) to hoop for 30 minutes a day for the next 30 days. And guess what?! We're sticking to it (Or trying our very best!) The best news is that over 500 hoopers decided to join us! And so far, we've got to say we're impressed! Everyone has been very supportive of each other on our online communities, especially when we feel we need that extra support. Some of us have missed days or had a late start and it's great to know that that's okay as long as we are resolved to keep going.


For our part, the Hoopnotica Team is hard at work providing you with inspirational material. We hope you've seen our daily inspirational graphics like the one above and for the rest of the month you can expect lots of other incentives to hoop it out, including exclusive tips and tricks from the masters and mini workouts designed to help you stay committed!

But, as always, just when we think our role at Hoopnotica is to inspire others, we come to find that it is actually YOU, lovely hoopers, who continue to teach and to inspire us! We read every single one of your comments and enjoy hearing how and when and why you hoop! We've heard lots of great things so far: your stories of weight loss, new hooping skills, and newfound strength! Here is what you have had to say:

Hoopnotica 30 Day Challenge Your Results

So a big congratulations to every single one of you who have been hooping, trying, and trying again and keeping in touch with us at every step. Please keep on hooping and telling us all about your daily struggles, achievements and goals! Tag us #hoopnotica on your fabulous pictures and drop us a line...anytime! You guys put the Hoop in Hoopnotica!