We all know that hooping is fun, but is it good for you?
Does hooping count towards your Government approved 150 minutes of exercise a week? The answer is, perhaps unsurprisingly, yes. If you are looking for a new way to get in shape, then hula hooping is the perfect exercise.
Even science agrees!
Work That Core
The International Journal of Applied Research (IJAR) conducted a study which showed that waist hooping is similar to planking in that it doesn’t necessarily build muscle but increases muscular endurance. The study concludes that ‘spinning a hula hoop enhances the core muscles, including glutes, thighs, abs and lower back muscles that help in supporting and stabilizing your posture.’
Hooping is not only great for core stabilisation but is also good for the joints of your spine. As the IJAR study showed, ‘the push-pull mechanism keeps the hoop up, thus stretching the muscles and introducing movement to the spine that helps bring nutrients to the intervertebral disc.’
Have Fun and Get Fit
The American Council on Exercise conducted an aerobic study that showed you can ‘expect similar results from hooping as you can get from boot-camp classes and cardio kickboxing. By burning approximately 210 calories per 30-minute session, hooping falls within accepted guidelines for exercise that can contribute to weight management.’
For this to be effective you will want to go in for more high intensity hooping but even a fun, relaxed hoop in the park will increase your blood flow and improve your oxygen intake.
Engage Your Brain
Much like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time, hooping helps focus your mind by engaging your core muscles and energising your neural pathways.
Whether you focus on learning new tricks or are in it for the core workout, you will be mindfully aware of what is going on with your body because the hoop will fall if you are busy thinking about something else.
Boost Your Mood
It has been known since the times of Ancient Greece that exercise boosts the mood and studies in more modern times show that 30 minutes of daily moderate exercise such as walking can get your endorphins flowing.
Hooping can be both a moderate form of exercise and a high-intensity exercise (think hula aerobics) but however you approach it, hula hooping is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
The best thing about hooping is that you do not need a heap of expensive equipment to get started. All you need is a hula hoop, a can-do attitude and maybe a video tutorial or two. If you’re feeling creative you can make your own hula hoop (super fun, highly recommended!) you can find our step-by-step guide here.