A Hula Hoop® exercise regime can be a fun way to improve cardiovascular health and gain strength, balance, and flexibility. Regular hooping can also help with weight loss and maintenance. A hoop can be used to tone the mid-section, arms, or legs with either a set of exercises or as a dance routine.
There are several health benefits associated with hooping. The exercise encourages better balance and stronger rotational and side-to-side movement ability. Constant motion helps to improve cardiovascular health. Hooping also increases strength and flexibility, particularly in the core and stomach.
As hooping requires balance and good timing, it is extremely helpful in building coordination. The need for constant adjustment helps the spine to become more flexible as it becomes accustomed to different configurations. There can also be an improvement in the strength and flexibility of the knees and pelvic area.
Hooping can also be an effective way to lose weight. The act of hooping requires many of the larger muscles in the body, and these require the most energy — thus burning large amounts of fat. Hooping tones the thighs, hips, stomach, and legs. Using the hoop on the upper limbs can also be beneficial, as it builds muscle and tones the arms and shoulders.
There are also several positive effects that hooping can have on the brain. Aside from the usual mood-enhancing effects of exercise in general, the hypnotic motion of the hoop can inspire a sense of well-being. Mental acuity also increases as the brain learns to manipulate the body in order to maintain the motion of the hoop.
Hooping is a fast-moving, low-impact, and playful form of exercise. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals with little time or who are resistant to keeping a regular exercise routine. Results can be seen with regular sessions as short as ten minutes.
There are slightly weighted Hula Hoops® that are particularly designed to be used for hooping exercise. These are more effective for fitness and easier to keep moving than the lighter plastic variety of hoop used as a child’s toy. Hoops come in different sizes and weights. Some even fold up for greater portability.
Hooping can be done individually or in a classroom setting. Most exercises are done with the waist, though the arms and legs can also be incorporated. Classes and video programs viewable at home both typically move through several different sets of exercises, starting with basic moves and eventually advancing to more complicated maneuvers.