Academy Award winning actress Marisa Tomei is helping to bring the hula-hoop back to the mainstream as part of an effort to introduce fun ways to keep people fit.
Two and half years ago Tomei’s friend asked her to come along to a fitness class that featured heavier adult sized hoops and the actress was immediately hooked.
“You just can’t help but laugh and smile when you’re hooping,” she told the New York Times. These days she hoops several times a week and credits the regimen with helping her get in shape for nude scenes in the 2008 movie “The Wrestler.”
Tomei began working with the fitness company Gaiam last year on the new “Core & Curves” workout video to be released later this month and now available for pre-order at Amazon. While working on the video Marisa suggested doing another video centered around hooping. They began shooting in December and the video is due out in May.
“We’re working with Marisa Tomei in potentially the same way that Jane Fonda worked with aerobics,” said William S. Sondheim, president of entertainment and distribution at Gaiam. The collaboration, he said, “may be the catalyst to take hooping from a cottage-based industry status that has been bubbling under for a few years into a significant and new form of fitness.”
“This whole culture has sprung up in the last few years, and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue,” said Philo Hagen, who helped found the Web site Hooping.org in 2003. The site, which started as a part-time gig but is now Mr. Hagen’s full-time job, gets 20,000 to 40,000 unique visitors each week, some of whom organize meet-ups in public parks.