• Antonia Trevini


Updated: Mar 6

Are you tired of doing the same boring home workouts? While waiting for the gym to reopen, let's step back in time! Recent researches affirm that Hula Hoops exercises have incredible physical and mental health benefits.

Here are 5 reasons why you should start practising.

PHOTO: "Hula Hoops"by Miki J. is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you were a child in the 90s, you should remember how much fun was to play with a Hula Hoop. Developed in 1957 by Wham-O, this hip-swiveling toy conquered the hearts of generations (mine too) and grow into a long-lasting trend. From a childhood game, these colourful plastic round tubes have now turned into a recreational, effective, and inclusive form of exercise for young and old alike. Particularly Hula Hooping seems to have beneficial effects on the body and mind.

So here are five reasons why you should have a Hula Hoop:

  1. Burn calories:

Hula hooping is an excellent aerobic workout that focuses not only on your abs but also on many lower and upper body muscles through refined movement. Consequently, it helps to burn more calories than many other popular workouts. Mayo Clinic affirmed that 30-minutes of hula hooping can burn 165 calories for women, and 200 calories for men. Out of eight different workouts, Hula Hooping is the third for calories burned in a minute, after cardio kickboxing and boot camp. However, as the American council on exercise confirmed, the difference was almost irrelevant.

PHOTO: "Roxie with a hula-hoop"by Snap Man is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

2. Lean body mass:

According to Karger’s research, using a weighted hula hoop 13 min per day significantly decreased waist and hip girth and reduced body fat percentage in the android region (neck, chest, and waist areas) while increasing trunk muscularity. This twirling exercise was compared to walking and dancing and resulted in having major advantages, particularly for overweight individuals.

3. Good for the heart:

Researches also discovered how hula hooping lowers LDL cholesterol, otherwise called “bad cholesterol” as it can clog blood vessels, increasing the chances of heart problems like strokes. As this is a cardiovascular exercise, its LDL lowering efficacy is similar to resistance training but it is way more fun than weight lifting and results in greater life expectancy.

4. Better flexibility and balance:

A study on tennis players revealed that hula hooping was very effective in improving flexibility and core strength, but also agility and balance. Because you need to tighten your core to maintain the weighted hoop to rotate around the waist, this continuous hip movement strengthens the abdominal area as well as the lower back, reducing back pain. Moreover, maintaining posture and strong core stability improve balance, agility, and flexibility. “This motion releases the muscle tension in the surrounding muscles of the sacrum and the spine resulting in rich blood flow to the area which ultimately helps in stretching of the muscles when performing daily”, as revealed by the International Journal of Current Advanced Research.

5. Improve mental health:

Inclusion Matters, an international non-profit group that supports the creation of inclusive playgrounds and educational programs for children with disabilities, sustains that Hula hooping is a great exercise for those with Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Autism because it is a simple workout for kids that involves coordination, connecting mind and body.

Hoop Dance is also being reported to successfully release endorphins which can help for reducing pain, anxiety and boosting the mood which is an excellent medicine for depression and mental health problems, particularly while we are still confined at home.

As we might be stuck at home for a little more time, let your inner child have another go with a Hula Hoop.

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