The hula hoop is one of today’s hottest fitness crazes. You might remember it as a childhood game, but these days everyone seems to be getting in on the action — and for good reason: Hooping is a great way to burn calories and stay in shape. Beyonce hoops, Marisa Tomei hooped getting ready for her role in The Wrestler, and E Entertainment Television calls hooping “Part dance, part exercise, part fun!”
The key to fitness hooping is that the hoop is weighted, which boosts the core toning, muscle strengthening benefits and burns more fat. It’s a cardio and toning workout in one! The result is an energizing workout that combines basic movements with elements of dance, using a hula hoop that is endlessly FUN, creative and sexy.
One reason hoop workouts have caught on is that for many people, their last positive experience with physical activity was in childhood. Hooping can bring us back to the feeling that exercise is enjoyable AND can burn between 400 and 600 calories an hour, while being low impact to your joints.
I recently taught at a fitness convention in Houston and was hooping with my friends from Hoopnotica. We hooped to dance music for 30 minutes, and let me say, “Wow!” I was surprised at the workout I got — I was sweating, my heart rate was elevated to a power walking pace, and my obliques were sore the next day. Check out a hoop workout in this video clip from my Saturday news segment on KARE 11 (NBC Minneapolis/St. Paul).
Most people automatically say, “I can’t do it” when you hand them a hula hoop. But once they try it for 10 minutes, they can usually keep the hoop up on their waist. After a week, they’ve got it down. Just doing your own thing will get your heart rate up — or you can follow a hooping DVD (try the Dance Hoop Workout Kit from Betty “Hoops” Shurin that includes several workouts plus a “common mistakes” section). Get hooping tips and tricks in this article. You can learn the moves in no time and REALLY get a workout.
Guys, teenagers, ladies — everyone loves hooping. You can do it indoors, outdoors, by yourself or with friends. So go ahead and ROCK A HOOP!!