I did something last night that I never before thought (actually didn’t know) I could do. I hula-hooped. Not just that I successfully got more than three rounds around my waist with the hoop, but I did it for a solid 20-minutes, non-stop.
When I was younger, I’d throw the hoop around my tiny little waist, jiggle around a bit and hope that I could successfully hoop. I failed every single time. It’d wind like crazy around me from the force that I spun it around my waist with my hands, then clatter to my feet.
For years, I’ve heard about the benefits of hooping, and have been a little envious of those who could do it. Since I had a raging cold a week ago, and I’m still not 100%, I can’t run or trudge away full force on the step machine. Having almost a half hour to kill while I was waiting for my gym buddy last night, I made my way to the upstairs studio room at my gym facility. There, on the wall, hung a few weighted hula hoops. I was jamming out to My Chemical Romance and feeling a little spunky, so I figured “What the heck, why not?” I had the room to myself, so the only one who could see my embarrassing attempts would be my own reflection (and trust me, that reflection of mine is pretty good at laughing at me).
I grabbed a hoop, tossed my headphone wire over my shoulder so it wouldn’t be in the way, waited for a new song to start, then started hula-hooping. I successfully swished my hips for a solid four and a half minute song. So I kept going into the next song, and then the next. I hummed and hooped my way through a little more than 20-minutes of non-stop hooping, and I won’t lie: I fist pumped after.
Today, I’m feeling it. My core, my glutes and my thighs mostly. If you’re not hooping, you should be. Seriously. As a trainer, I command you get out there, have a little fun and get a good aerobic workout in while you’re doing it.
Here are 7 benefits of hula-hooping:
- Helps burn fat – hooping requires the use of some of your biggest muscles in your body. Said muscles require a significant amount of energy, so it makes your body use its fat stores.
- Tones your body – works your core muscles, strengthening and toning them. Muscles from your glutes, thighs, hips, legs, knees and abs.
- Increases your fitness level – Hooping is low impact. Great aerobic exercise (an hour of hooping is almost the same as spending that time on the boring treadmill). If you can’t perform the more serious aerobic exercises, hooping is the perfect replacement fit. It’s also good to do if you have a head cold and can’t run!
- Improves your mood – hooping is fun! There isn’t any denying that.
- Improves your coordination – because hooping is the timing and rhythm of your body as it moves, it’s a great exercise to improve your coordination.
- Improves flexibility of your spine – the motion of hooping require a big range of motion from your spine. The more you hoop, the bigger the range of motion you and your spine will become used to. The added benefit of that is: Flexibility. Helpful in preventing back injuries.
- It’s good for your heart! If that’s not reason enough to start hooping, than what is?