Hula-hooping for hope during COVID-19

CHICAGO -- Home workouts are increasing in popularity as a result of Illinois' "stay-at-home" order, but one Chicago-area virtual class is keeping people fit and helping them stay connected.

"Almost all of my students are 60 and older," said Jakki Underwood, founder of Hoop Fitness 4U. "Hooping helps you with coordination, balance, all those things that you need, stamina."

The class has helped some hula hoopers who had previous health concerns.

Barbara Thomas suffered a stroke and had immense back pain. But after she started hula-hooping last year, things changed.

"I had back pain so bad that I had a pain doctor," Thomas said. "I started taking shots every three months and I was just trying to get it together. When I started hooping, my back started to improve. When I bent down, it wasn't hurtful."

The class has also had emotional benefits for many.

"During this time of coronavirus and our stay at home policy, hooping is something that I look forward to every single day," hooper Voncille Henderson said.