PORTLAND -- She rides one of the most unusual bikes you’ll see in Portland but Paige Tashner needs her cycle to haul dozens of hula hoops.
At the Village Ballroom in Northeast Portland on Monday nights she’s using the childhood favorite to help people of all ages get in shape.
“It really works the core and hips. The arms also get a work out as we lift and move the hoop around and over the body,” she explained.
“You’re just laughing and having fun. You don’t even realize you’re working out,” said one student.
Another student, 63 year old Karen Hancock believes the spinning has tremendous physical benefits.
“I have MS and it’s helping to keep me out of a wheelchair,” she remarked, “it keeps me moving so my muscles and joints don’t shrink.” Tahsner says her students range in age from 7 to 70.
“If you’re having trouble keeping it on your waist – it’s okay – all students have been there. I call it trauma bonding.”
Some of the trauma can be avoided by having the right size hoop made of irrigation tubing, “The bigger the hoop the slower it will move around the body and the easier it is to keep in place,” she explained.
Tashner likes the sound of hoops hitting the floor and figures it means students are pushing themselves to the limit.
“I read that the hula movements increase brain activity so it helps with problem solving and I feel less stressed,” said the instructor.
“I know I feel wonderful,” added Hancock, “I’m going to do a 5K to raise money for MS this year and I never could have done that before starting this class.”
More information at HulaHoopla.com