Anyone else remember the days of hula hooping? When you begged your parents to buy you that really funny looking plastic circle because it looked fun, only to be semi-discouraged that it was not the easiest thing to conquer. At best, you could probably do it for thirty seconds straight. But how can we blame you? You were probably no more than ten years old and just looking to pass the time. Now, at a slightly older age, you probably still see hula hoops being used frequently in exercise classes, adult aerobics, and – as usually – with younger kids. Hula-hooping is not solely an activity for the young of heart — it provides outstanding physical activity, calorie burn, and other benefits that you did not think a plastic hoop was capable of. Let’s fill that empty circle of yours with some of the amazing benefits that hula-hopping has to offer. Get ready to wiggle your way to a healthier, fitter you!
Before we get into the benefits, just for kicks, let’s take a look at some facts you probably may not have known about hula hooping.
- Hula hooping was first used by the Greeks, back in ancient times, as a form of exercise.
- Hula Hooping arrived in Great Britain in the 1300s where it became a popular homemade past time.
- Hula dancing was then observed in the 1800s on the Hawaiian Islands by British sailors.
- In 1963, the hula hoop was trademarked in Los Angeles by Richard Knee and Arthur Melin under their company, “Wham-O”.
- In the first six months from its trademark, “Wham-O” sold 20 million hula hoops at the price of $1.98.
The Benefits of Hula Hooping
Now, onto the topic of interest: the benefits. While hula hooping may initially seem like a silly wiggle-frenzy, it actually packs a ton of benefits for your body. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Full Body Burn: When you are in the act of hula hooping, you might not realize that you are not just moving your hips, but your whole body – as many as 30 of your muscles – are wiggling around with you. If you want to be more bang for your buck from hula hooping, try out some exercise DVDs that work to focus on certain components of your body that you might want to work on.
Core: Hula hooping also works on your core muscles, which include strengthening your waist (no surprise) and stomach muscles. For people who have trouble eliminating the fat in these areas, hula hooping is a fun and different way to target your waist without doing the conventional setups, running, or (our least favorite) dieting.
Calorie Burn: According to the American Council of Exercise, hula hooping can burn over 400 calories per hour! This is about the same as running a 12-mile minute for an hour; and we think the former sounds a bit more fun. Of course, if you incorporate your arms and your legs into your hula hooping workout, you can look to burn upwards to 600 calories. Of course, if you just want a few minutes of fun, then 8 minutes of hooping can set you down fifty calories. Undoubtedly, hooping is a great way to slim down while still enjoying yourself.
Heart: Hula hooping just does not work the muscles you can see; it also works the most vital muscle of your body — your heart! The next time you are hula hooping, notice how fast your heart rate goes up, and you will definitely be a believer of its cardiovascular benefits!
Spine Strength: It is hard to move your hips without having some spine movement as well. As such, hula hooping’s rhythmic movement back and forth provides an increased blood flow to your spine. All this will increase your spine’s overall strength and flexibility if you remain consistent with your hula hooping.
Coordination and Motor Skills: While hula hooping is not an Olympic sport, just like any other sport, hula hooping helps you develop your hand-eye coordination. It is no easy task to keep a hoop circling around your waist, and your brain has to work with your muscles to achieve this directional movement.
Balance: You cannot hula hoop without digging your feet into the ground a bit and stabilizing your body so that you do not fall over. Hula hooping helps you remain in control of your balance even when you are focused on other things, such as keeping the hoop above your hips, and creating a circular motion with your body.
Mood: It is hard to not smile, or laugh at yourself, whist you are hula hooping. A lot of people try it out because others look so happy when they are doing it. Have you ever seen someone frowning while hula hooping? Probably not! Because hula hooping is often seen as a more youthful activity, it can make you feel younger, more vibrant, and confident about yourself. Not to mention, as with any physical activity, it will boost your endorphins and make you feel downright good!
Hula Hooping Tips!
Hula hooping does not come easily, it takes practice just like mastering any other movement technique that you are not used to. Here are some tips to help you achieve proper hooping skills:
- Move your legs farther apart if you are having trouble balancing.
- If rhythm is your problem, focus on moving one foot at a time in little circles with your legs bent to achieve proper rhythm.
- When you are just beginning, start with a light-weight hula hoop, as heavier ones are harder to control.
Add Some Hooping To Your Life!
As always, have fun, and try to treat hula hooping the same way that kids do — as a fun and enjoyable activity that will reap some wonderful benefits for you if you stick with it and let your hips roll! So the next time you are feel sluggish or in a workout rut, consider adding some wiggling to your day and try hula hooping instead!