From CalorieLab —
Hula Hooping for Fitness Lets You Feel Like a Kid Again
As kids’ playthings, hula hoops burst into widespread popularity about the same time as Elvis Presley, who during his performances sometimes looked like he was using one. Then they faded away and largely disappeared, until recently, that is. They have now been repurposed and are promoted not as toys, but as exercise aids.
Bored by pilates? Need more of a cardiovascular workout than yoga offers? Your weather or neighborhood isn’t amenable to jogging or other outdoor activity? Can’t afford gyms or gym equipment? Man, are you hard to please, but hula hooping just may do the trick.
No, we’re not kidding, and no, it’s not 1955. Hooping for exercise, weight control, and other health benefits is rotating itself right into the mainstream, with hooping classes, clubs, instructors, DVDs, websites, Wii Fit virtual hooping, and of course custom hula hoop designers.
Don’t smirk like that. The fact is, hooping has a lot more going for it that might appear at first glance. Consider…
- It can be a either a solitary or a social activity. There are people who hoop in regularly scheduled groups.
- It’s multitask-friendly. You can hoop while reading or talking or watching TV or doing any one of 40 or so things on your iPhone.
- It’s highly efficient as a physical muscle toner. It strengthen the lower back, arm, stomach and the obliques. As a cardiovascular weight-loss workout, it burns 600 to 800 calories per hour.
- It’s sexy. That’s why they wouldn’t televise Elvis from the waist down. Hooping is very close, kinesthetically, to belly dancing.
- It’s different. The great enemy of regular exercise is boredom, and hooping is, for most people, new and novel and even fun.
- It’s versatile. You can whirl a hula hoop not just around your hips, but also around your legs, arms or neck, working different muscle sets in each case.
- It improves your sense of balance. If it doesn’t, you fall over.