A Blast From The Past: Hula Hooping Is Great Exercise

Our mothers and grandmothers loved hula hoops as children, and chances are you did, too. You probably thought that you've outgrown hula hoops, but think again! They're not just for kids. They're great exercise for adults.

New Research

A study at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse found that women burned an average 210 calories from hula hooping for a half an hour. That means that hula hooping is as good of a workout as aerobics and kickboxing.

“Before we did the study, I didn’t imagine the heart-rate averages would be so high,” said Jordan Holthusen, one of the researchers. “I was really impressed by how intense of a workout you can get hooping and how many calories you can burn.”

The Benefits of Hooping

Not only does hooping burn calories, but it also has been found to help strengthen core muscles. Your daily hooping sessions can help reduce belly fat and tone those abs.

Hula hooping is good for your back as well. The way you rock back and forth to keep a hoop going strengthens the back and makes the spine more flexible.

Finally, hooping improves hand-eye coordination and makes for a great mood elevator.

How to Get Started

Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, pick up an adult-sized hoop and get started! You can plan a daily hula session while listening to your favorite tunes. If you don't have a lot of time, pull the hoop out on your breaks to get five minutes of fitness in here and there.

If you've got friends who are game, why not start a hooping group in the park?

Photo: Health