Hula hoops have been around for thousands of years and have been entertaining children for eternities…but have you ever thought of using a hula hoop to get in shape? In 1957, hula hoops gained huge popularity when they started to be manufactured from plastic. Hoops come in a variety of sizes, weights, and materials…and best of all, they are inexpensive to buy and will last a lifetime if taken care of!
Benefits of hooping:
Burns calories- Hooping burns a ton of calories! Just 30 minutes of hula hooping a day can burn over 200 calories, however, if you get the rest of the body working as well, one could burn up to 600 calories in an hour. However, in order to burn this many calories, the participant must be able to keep the hoop up!
Relieves stress– Hula hooping is a great way to relieve stress! Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which control your mood, and lead to positive feelings or a meditative effect. Cranking some tunes and hula hooping for 30 minutes is a great way to relieve the stress and get a great workout!
Improves posture- Hula hooping requires full activation of the core, which in turn can help tone the core and hips and bring out the abs! The abdomen has deep stabilization muscles, if these muscles are weak, poor posture is often the circumstance. The circular motion associated with hula hooping requires activation of different parts of the core in different parts of the motion. Generally, when the hoop crosses a part of the body, the muscle should be engaged and slightly contracted; when the hoop moves along, relax that muscles and activate the next one. By activating the individual muscles, the entire core is working! By strengthening these core muscles, the back can develop and maintain a neutral body alignment. Remember to hula hoop in both directions!
Improves body proprioception/ kinesthetic awareness- Hooping improves total body coordination since the core muscles play a large role in balance. If one hoops not just around the waist, but with various parts of their body, the muscles will get used to the new movements. Many hooping tricks require precise timing and placement to perform correctly, by improving this awareness, the body can become more coordinated and balanced.
Tones the Body- Hula hooping tones the core, hips, and thighs! Due to the continuous activation of the core while hula hooping, the muscles are working for periods long enough to improve endurance of the trunk, which can help to build lean muscle mass in the area. It is not possible to lose fat in a specific area of the body as body fat percentage is a percentage measure from the mass of the whole body; this means if one loses fat, they loose that amount of fat total off their total body, and not just the area that was being trained. Lean muscle mass is developed through training with high reps, and low weight. For this reason, hula hooping is great for toning the waist!
Boosts metabolism– By building lean muscle mass through hooping, one’s metabolism will improve. By improving the amount of lean muscle mass in a body, there is more muscle to burn fat for energy, which will lead to fat loss!
Improves heart function- All exercise places some form of stress on the heart; however, the body must go through these stresses to adapt and improve. Inactivity is estimated to be the cause of death for two million people annually, since inactivity can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity just to name a few.
Its Fun! – Hula hooping is a fun way to get the heart pumping! Once one has the hang of keeping the hoop up, they can start hooping with different parts of the body which can be a lot of fun! One can challenge themselves by trying to hoop with multiple hoops at a time, getting weighted hoops, or getting hoops with a smaller circumference. When choosing a hoop, choose one with a little bit of weight to it as ones with little to no weight are harder to get going and keep up.
One can expect to be sore after hooping the first couple of times….but what did you expect? This is working out after all!
By: Olivia Campbell