People have been hula hooping in one form or another for centuries. Traditionally made of willow, grapevines, stiff grass or rattan, hoops have been used in dance and play by people all over the world.
Modern day hula hoops are made of a plastic tube and have been in use since the 1950’s. I’m sure just about everyone remembers playing with hula hoops as a child. I know I had a blast with mine. Little did I know it was actually really good exercise, with numerous health benefits. All I knew was it was a lot of fun!
Hula hoops are not just children’s toys anymore, though. Today, hooping is a popular exercise for people of all ages. It is great exercise and is a lot of fun.
What are some of the benefits of hula hooping?
Hula hooping is great fun, and at first glance looks really easy. Once you actually try it, though, you’ll realize that it is really quite a workout! It is a great aerobic activity that engages many muscles in the body and is a great fat burner. In fact, one hour of hula hooping burns as many calories as a one hour run. In contrast to running, hooping is a low-impact activity that is great for those with troublesome joints as well as older people. It’s also such a fun activity that you really don’t even realize how hard you are working!
Core Muscle Workout
Hula hooping not only uses the large muscles in the legs, arms and back, it also works the core muscles in the abdomen, hips, back, pelvis and buttocks. The rhythmic hip rotations work many muscles and are great for toning and strengthening your core. For a great shoulder and arm workout, try twirling a hoop with your hands. Weighted hoops are now available for a more intense workout as well.
Posture and Back Health
In addition to engaging and strengthening the stabilizing lower back muscles and the large upper back muscles, the gyrating motion of the hips also mobilizes the spinal joints. Increasing the range of motion of the spine is very important for spinal health, back strength and overall body health. The more you increase the flexibility of the spine, the more you lubricate those spinal joints and discs, which will go a long way in preventing back problems and injuries.
Mood and Self Esteem
Hula hooping is a lot of fun. Even watching someone else do it will bring a smile to your face. Hooping as a group activity is a really great social activity that will have you laughing and having a good time in just minutes. Once you start hula hooping, you’ll feel great, have fun, and start feeling really good about yourself. Do it with a group of friends or family, or crank up the music and do it alone. It’s also something fun you can do with your kids to get them moving and exercising while getting a great workout yourself.
Hula hooping will also have you paying attention to your body and concentrating on your movements. This will increase your body awareness and work to raise your self-esteem. As you get better and better at it, your confidence will increase and you’ll feel better about yourself and your abilities. Hula hooping is great for shy and self-conscious children and adults and is particularly good for people who shy away from sports and athletic activities.
Coordination and Balance
Hooping is somewhat like dancing, but it does involve a lot of coordination to achieve the hip movements needed to keep the hoop going at a constant rate for a long time. At first you may only be able to keep it going for a few seconds before losing the rhythm, but as you continue to practice, your coordination and balance will improve and before you know it you’ll be able to keep it going for a long time. Soon you’ll be adding new movements and little tricks in your routine. Have fun with it and try new things.
Since hula hooping is a great cardio workout, as well a s core strengthening workout, it is a convenient alternative when you can’t get to the gym. Hooping requires no equipment or anything other than sufficient room to move around and your hoop. Try hooping outside where there is lots of room and you’ll get the added benefits of fresh air, sunshine and Vitamin D.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits of hula hooping. It really is a great activity to add to your exercise routine or give you something fun and new to do with your kids, spouse or friends. There’s really no reason not to try it!