To those of us who have been trying to get in shape lately, it make seem like hula hoops are everywhere you look. Fitness magazines rave about them; gyms hold classes dedicated to them; even former First Lady Michelle Obama, an outspoken advocate of regular exercise, has been spotted hooping. Yes, what we once considered a childhood toy has become an overnight sensation as the latest exercise trend--but does exercise hooping really work?
YES! Using a hula hoop as a part of your exercise routine can help strengthen your core and burn off that unwanted belly fat. But that’s not the only reason so many people are picking up the hoop. There are quite a few benefits that come along with hooping--and we’ve got just a handful listed below!
Hooping as a family gives parents and kids an opportunity for much needed quality time while also getting some exercise. You’ll make great memories and get healthy all at once--who could say no to a deal like that?
Life is busy, and that’s why modern exercise hoops are made for busy people. Many hoops are collapsible so you can fit them into your purse or gym bag--which means you can take it anywhere.
Spending the day with the kids at the park? You can bring your hoop along and get some exercise while you watch them. Going on vacation? Your hoop will collapse to fit nicely in your carry-on. Want to burn off a heavy dinner? Hoop in the living room while you watch TV in the evening (just make sure the room is clear first). You can do your exercise hoop routine at any time and in any place, which makes getting your daily exercise easier than ever.
The American Council on Exercise recently compared hooping to an exercise standard--the sit-up. Both exercises help build killer abs and a strong core, and while the Council did conclude that neither exercise was perfectly complete on its own, they both could be part of a varied exercise routine. But which one was better overall?
According to their findings, hooping burned more calories than sit-ups, while also putting less strain on the joints than other cardio workouts like jumping rope. Not only that, but the study found that hooping improves motor skills, hand-eye coordination, flexibility, balance, and sense of rhythm! You read that right--your entire body (and your mind) can reap incredible benefits from a single piece of equipment. The more you hoop, the healthier you’ll be!
Think about the last time you try a new fitness routine. How long did it last, and why did you stop doing it? We all know that regular exercise is important for a long and healthy life, but for many people out there, working out simply isn’t fun. The fitness industry is spending (and earning) millions of dollars each year trying to find the best way to keep us entertained while we work out, and yet… we get tired, we get bored, we quit.
But do you remember playing at recess as a kid? You could have played for hours and never given it a second thought! When we get in touch with our playful, childlike side, we’re more likely to enjoy our exercise routine. That’s why game- or toy-based fitness routines are some of the easier programs to stick with, and that is why hooping has become so popular.
So let’s recap: unlike the fitness routines of old, hooping is a way to spend time with the kids, squeeze daily exercise into your schedule, get in touch with your inner child, and become healthier all-around--not to mention those killer abs you’ll see this summer. With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that the hooping trend is growing fast and here to stay. Pick up your own hoop today and see what it’s all about!
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