We’re all aware that our fitness is important, but sometimes it isn't exactly as fun as we’d like. I had a strict stationary cycling regime for a while, but soon I grew bored with the same playlist, and the repetitiveness of the activity.
But then I heard of hula hooping as an exercise and it blew my mind. My favourite First Lady, Michelle Obama does it, and so does lady-crush superstar Beyoncé. Hooping seems to be trend now, but the fitness benefits of it have been demonstrated for a while.
There are many studied showing the benefits of hooping, but none as are comprehensive as this study from Ace Fitness. The study focused on the calories burned per minute, which averaged at seven, over a variety of women of difference ages and sizes. It also concluded that it counted as a full-body workout considering the amount of muscle areas affected by the exercise. It’s also really fun.
I’ve always been a hula-hooping fiend, but I haven’t picked up a hoop since university. Recently, I re-discovered that hooping is actually a fantastic way to burn some calories and more important, get some definition back. My previous foray into the hooping world was more about skill, whereas it’s now about stamina, and muscle tone.
Using my heart rate monitor to compare, I discovered that my heart rate was up 20 BPM on my stationary cycling, and I burned 120 calories in ten minutes, which seems crazy to me. If only my skill (and stamina) allowed me to keep the hoop up for more than 15 minutes, eh…
I discovered several websites that became the epitome of hooping-help recently and aided my routines, surprisingly the circus equipment selling site,Firetoys has really become my first port of call for everything hooping. I got my weighted hula hoop from them, and it arrived swiftly and is of fantastic quality. Hoops in the past have never quite gripped right, but this one is fantastic (and luminous yellow!)
- A fantastic playlist for Hooping can be found on 8tracks.com. It is mostly hip-hop laced, but there’s a few British treasures on there and dance tracks that certainly make your hips move a little faster.
- Great websites for information on the exercise can be found Hooping.org, and Hoop Hub
- Amazingly inspiring videos can be found all over YouTube, but a few of my favourites are this one, this one and this amazing hula cam, taken from Burning Man (that also contains nipple tassels, for those reading from work.)
Images via Kadyjaxx Flickr account