As a child I had two pastimes: jumping Double Dutch and Hula Hooping. While I haven’t jumped Double Dutch in years, Hula Hooping has become one of my favorite cardio alternative to running. Here are the reasons behind my commitment.
It’s About Muscle Building and Burning Calories
Hula Hooping (or simply hooping) is a low-impact, high-intensity exercise that involves rapid and repetitive back-and-forth swinging motions usually about the waist, hips, knees, and ankles. Due to the dynamic nature of the motions involved, regular hooping helps to build muscular endurance and strength while burning a generous amount of calories (200-250 calories in just 30 minutes).
This makes it a highly effective activity for weight loss and long-term weight management.
Hooping Is the Ultimate Core Workout
Hooping works the core muscles like no other exercise can. The continuous swinging motions help to develop the muscles of the lower back as well as all the abdominal muscles including the internal and external obliques (side abdominals), rectus abdominis (“six-pack”) and the transverse abdominis, which most folks just don’t work enough.
Hooping is also especially beneficial for working the deeper muscles located in the front region of the hips (psoas muscles), as they generate a great deal of force when the hips swing back-and-forth.
Flexibility Is a Fundamental Benefit of Hooping
In general, hooping promotes increased flexibility of the torso and limbs. It’s especially beneficial for building flexibility in the lower back and deep hip muscles, which tend to be shortened and tight on most people these days due to increased time in the seated position.
Coupled with its powerful effects on muscular endurance and strength, the flexibility benefits offered with regular hooping can greatly improve core balance, stability, and posture.
It’s a Revolution
If I’ve sold you on the benefits of hooping for exercise, expert ‘hooper’ Jan Camp can sell you on the revolution. In addition to being an avid hula hooper, Jan is the author of a great book titled “Hoopdance Revolution: Mindfulness in Motion”, which is a guidebook to healthy exercise, play, and fun.
This book now serves as my personal hooping bible. Prior to reading Hoopdance Revolution, Hula Hooping was merely a throwback childhood exercise for me. Now it’s become a culture and a lifestyle that’s gradually merged with aerobic exercise, yoga, and many other forms of dance.
In Hoopdance Revolution, Jan provides you with an in depth history of Hula Hooping in pop culture and then takes you step by step through all of the basics of hooping from making your own Hula Hoop, performing fundamental movements, and ultimately joining the revolution. In addition to the text, there are numerous digital resources and websites available to you for demos and ideas.
While most of us know that cardio exercise is one of the most effective ways to burn body fat and lose weight, performing this type of exercise doesn’t require expensive, monotonous equipment and it certainly shouldn’t be boring.
One of the best things about hooping for cardio is that it can be implemented at virtually no cost. So go ahead, maximize your workout time and join the revolution with me.
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Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.
Before starting an exercise training program you should first make sure that exercise is safe for you. If you are under the age of 55 years and generally in good health, it is probably safe for you to exercise. However, if you are over 55 years of age and/or have any health problems, be sure to consult with your physician before starting an exercise training program.