As the summer comes to an end and the Fall Equinox approaches, winter weather is on it’s way. Depending on where in the world you call home, winter hula hooping can present a real challenge. As someone who calls Central Oregon home, I have learned to expect frigid temperatures and standing snow as early as October (In fact, it’s not unheard of for us to get a sudden blanket of snow in the middle of the summer…scary, I know.) This means that by early Fall, I may already be being pushed inside by the weather. This is fine if you have a nice, large, heated indoor space available to you. Unfortunately, many Hoopers out there live in small shared living spaces, apartments, or simply in a home with low ceilings and tight spaces. Mine is the latter. What do you do when winter hits and you primary training space is the outdoors? Over my years of hoop dancing, I have gone to ridiculously creative lengths to find niche practice spaces to host me during the winter months. I decided to pass on a few tips I’ve picked up on over the years, in hopes that they will help you in your dilemma as well. Some are free, and some are not (but they’re usually low cost). I have compiled a list of location ideas to assist you in you winter hula hooping mission.
If the temperature is moderate, but you need shelter from rain, park pavilions are excellent (and free!) movement spaces. You may have to move a picnic table out of the way, but in the cooler months, these spaces are typically empty and the interruptions are sparse.
If your town has a outdoor amphitheater that they use as a music venue, it’s likely that there is a stage cover. My city’s amphitheater doubles as a park when it’s not in use, therefore the public has access to it. When there is not a concert going on, the stage is one of my favorite spaces to train. The cover should offer you protection from rain, but it won’t do much for wind or cold.
An near-empty level (or section) in a parking garage could give you a wonderfully flat and smooth surface to train on. It will also keep you out of the elements, provided you’re not on the roof.
Does you gym have a space designated for movement? Maybe a stretching area, or a yoga room? These are great spaces to utilize for hula hooping when there is not a scheduled class going on. My gym has saved me during many winters! Especially since those movement rooms are usually equipped with mirrors, which is a great bonus training tool!
Does your regular yoga studio rent out their rooms in between classes? Consider renting a space and hosting a community hoop jam! Invite your hooping community and escape the winter elements together (for cheap)!
Gymnastic centers are typically VERY large spaces. Check with a local gym to see if they offer drop in rates for open gym space to train.
Does one of your friends or family members have a heated basement or workshop/garage on their property. Maybe they use it for work, but wouldn’t mind loaning it out to you to hoop in. Maybe you could convince them to join you!
Not my favorite place to spin a hoop around, BUT if you are open to an audience, it could be a great way to make a few bucks! Throw a hat out and accept tips! Launch your busking career! (and practice where it’s warm)
During the off-hours, university atriums spaces can be a ghost town. They can provide you warmth, shelter, and relative privacy while you practice. When it’s not peak school hours, meander through university buildings, student unions, covered parking areas, and pavilions, and you are sure to find a comfortable space to through down.
Pedestrian tunnels, bike tunnels, and abandoned train tunnels can all provide shelter from rain or snow. They won’t do much for temperature, so layer up! You can also seek shelter underneath a city bridge (provided there is sufficient and safe space).
Living Room Makeover
Ever considered a interior design makeover? Think about storing all of your living room furniture for the winter and filling the space with blankets, pillows, and mood lighting. Voila! Instant movement space, which can double as a cuddle puddle zone during cold winter days!
Have an idea that wasn’t listed here? Comment it below!
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