If you’ve ever attended an outdoor concert or music festival, you’ve probably seen them: women and girls (and some guys) twirling to the music with large, colorful hula-hoops. Aside from playing with hula-hoops as a kid, this is the only exposure I’ve had to them in the past decade.
But apparently, the hula-hoop is moving off the playground and away from the festivals and into the mainstream consciousness–not as a toy, but as an exercise tool. “Researchers determined that hooping burns an average of seven calories per minute for a total of about 210 calories during a 30-minute hooping workout,” according to research conducted by The American Council of Exercise (ACE).
Not too shabby! And it sure looks like a lot more fun than 30 minutes on a treadmill. Even though I could never keep the hula-hoop traveling around my body without crashing to the floor every few seconds. According to Hoopnotica, the latest company to build a fitness regimen out of the hula-hoop, anyone can be a successful hooper with a few minutes of training.
“The hula hooping you remember from your childhood doesn’t hold a candle to the enjoyment you’ll experience with our weighted fitness hoops. Even if you never hooped as a kid, we have found that virtually ALL of our clients are able to hoop given the proper tools and training.”
Hoopnotica offers everything you need to get started: handmade hoops of all colors and sizes, DVDs and CDs to guide you through the hooping workout process, teacher certifications, and even in-person classes and retreats so you can take your fitness to the next level
“Hooping compares pretty favorably with most other group classes, in terms of heart rate and calorie burn,” says John Porcari, Ph.D. FCSM. Porcari is Executive Director of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Exercise and Health Program. His study of effectiveness of Hula Hooping as a workout concluded Hooping should be “considered a total-body workout that has the potential to improve your flexibility and balance while strengthening and toning the muscles of the back, abdomen, arms and legs.”
Sounds like a win to me, but I’m curious to know what you think. Have you ever tried hooping for exercise? Tell us about it!
Image via Thinkstock