Hooping, the New Fitness Craze

Ariane Conrad tells us why hooping is addictive and euphoric.


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Ariane Conrad was stuck in the world of cubicles and computers and couldn’t stand it. Her movement was limited to the swivel of her office chair, but she wanted to get up and really move. That’s when she discovered hula hooping. For Conrad, hooping got her out of her chair and into the life she wanted to live.

“I have never been sporty,” she said. “I am on the bookish, nerdy side of the spectrum.” But she found she could bring a hula-hoop to her office and that she was able to keep it going—through her breaks during the 9 to 5 grind.

Conrad’s budding interest in hooping brought her to the master—Christabel Zamor, formerly a shy academic who transformed herself into a fitness trainer and empowerment coach through her HoopGirl workout. Zamor, teaches sell-out classes and performs internationally for Cirque du Soleil, Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures, leading the way in the hooping movement.

Conrad, like Zamor, was an academic. In college she studied language and creative writing but had not pursued either as a career path. Instead, she worked in philanthropy for 10 years and dreamed about her writing. Hooping gave her the inspiration to follow that dream.
Conrad helped Zamor put together the book Hooping, A Revolutionary Fitness Program which came out in 2009 and takes the reader ( and soon to be hooper), through 50 original moves with a hoop for fitness. Conrad said she finds hooping addictive and euphoric. And that through hooping she has been able to follow her dreams of writing and editing.

She now works as a full-time writer and editor in Brooklyn, N.Y. “As your editorial consultant,” she said, “I can support you with anything that falls between the conception and the birth of your nonfiction book.” She helps craft the proposal, develop a plan, and works with the author through interviews and edits to draw out the best stories, and maintain a consistent voice and tone throughout. She also cheerleads and cajoles and gives “emotional support in moments of doubt and despair.”

Conrad worked on The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, written by Van Jones, green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009. Jones said she was a great writer and person. “There is no way my book would have gotten done in such short order, so beautifully, without her. Period,” he said

She also worked with Anne Leonard on The Story of Stuff, a book about how goods are made. “There is a life cycle,” Conrad said. “From the natural resources to the point when things get thrown away, it is unsustainable from an environmental perspective.”

Leonard said Conrad was a real partner, providing intellectual input, research, and reality checks. “Her magical editorial hands transformed my technical garbage geek-speak into a far more accessible, engaging story.”

And throughout all of this, she has kept the hoop spinning.

“Hooping feels good,” she said. “You don’t need anyone else to dance with—it is a super gratifying, fun way to get your body in motion.” Adding that you can have a hoop in any office. “Take hoop breaks when things get frustrating.” Or do has she did, and change your life with the power of the hoop. 

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