Print Edition: September 17, 2014
In elementary school, I was always disappointed when hula-hooping was included in gym class. I could not figure out why we would hula-hoop instead of play ball hockey, dodgeball, or basketball. I thought it was not as valuable or useful. Now, looking back, I wish I had tried to get better at hula-hooping and continued as I got older, now that I know all the benefits it brings.
Regardless of how “young” the activity may sound, it is a workout. In one hour of hula-hooping at a regular pace, approximately 400 calories can be burned. If an hour feels too intimidating, even half an hour will be a good workout. In general, one minute of hula-hooping is equal to roughly seven calories burned.
Hula-hooping is an aerobic activity. The circulating motion of your waist to keep the hula hoop in motion allows you to work your muscles. In turn, you can actually strengthen and tone them. This includes muscles in your hips, legs, thighs, and abs.
If you decide you want to go beyond using the hula hoop around your waist, you can! By moving the hoop with your arms instead, you are also able to tone your shoulders and forearms.
Hula hoops are simple alternatives to going to the gym or buying expensive equipment. There are only two things needed — a hula hoop, and space, in order to avoid breaking and/or hitting things in your surroundings.
There are two options when it comes to certain kinds of hula hoops. You can pick up the kind you used a kid, or you could go for the weighted hoops available. The weighted ones can help you keep the hoop up for extended times, and the added weight increases resistance.
It’s not just an in-your-home-or-backyard ordeal, either. There are classes starting to spring up at certain facilities. For example, you can find hoop dance, hoop yoga, meditative hooping, and hoop fitness. In Abbotsford, the Goddess Movement on Sumas Way has begun offering Hoop Fit classes.
The ultimate benefit to hula-hooping is that it is fun. Although it is exercise, no one would think to categorize it as such.
Grab your friends, grab some hoops, and experience a throwback to childhood with this fun workout!