Barbara Pearlin, a hula hoop fitness instructor teaching in Connecticut, told The Times Union, “Many people are getting a workout, and they do not even realize it.” Brenda McCullen-Moeske of HulaFit explained, “You get some cardio. You work your core and with the moves that you are doing, you also are working your arms, your shoulders, your upper back. It’s low impact, it keeps you in the aerobic zone, and the most important thing is that you are having fun.” So who is taking the classes? “It really is a huge range,” McCullen-Moeske said. “We’ve had students that ranged in age from 7 years old to 84. Mostly women take it, but we have had quite a few men.” Pearlin’s students are grabbing the bigger and heavier hoops, students which now include Times Union reporter Christina Hennessy. What did she think of hooping for fitness? “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but through a series of moves the hoop became an effective fitness tool, creating resistance, forcing me to work my muscles to stay balanced and keeping my heart rate up… I found myself working my legs and abdominal muscles to keep it from dropping below my hips. My arms and upper body were working too… It also was just a whole lot of fun.”Hooping has become a way for many to lose weight, tone their muscles, improve their balance, work on their flexibility and get their hearts pumping.