hulahoop

What do Zooey Deschanel, Beyonce, Marisa Tomei, Liv Tyler, Selena Gomez, Christie Brinkley, and Olivia Wilde all have in common? They all love hula hooping! Celebrities have been showing off their hooping skills and lithe bodies on talk shows all year claiming that hooping has helped them shed the pounds and strengthen their core.

Kelly Osborne swears that she lost 70 pounds with a diet and exercise regime that includes hula hooping. She says in a recent Redbook interview,“I’m not going to lie: I went into this thinking it was going to be embarrassing and monotonous, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Hula hooping for fitness is brilliant. It’s a challenging workout (you use a weighted hoop) with a playfulness that makes you want to keep going. I’ve been supplementing my regular workouts, which include running, strength training and yoga with about 10 minutes of this Hoopnotica routine each day, and I’m definitely losing inches off my waist.” (photo credit here)

Kelly Osbourne

I wasn’t sure I would be good at it or able to keep it up very long (that’s what he said) and the suspicious look I got from my husband wasn’t encouraging, so nobody was more surprised than me (well, maybe him) that it was both fun and easy. The hoop is larger and heavier than the hoops we used as kids; it gives you more time to react and therefore helps the hoop stay rotating around your hips.

Hula hooping has its critics but a new study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) shows it can be quite effective, burning about 210 calories in 30 minutes. ACE claims, “The findings from our commissioned study indicate that hooping delivers a total-body workout that can improve flexibility and balance while strengthening the back, abdominal, arm and leg muscles,” says Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, chief scientific officer of ACE.

hulahoopexercise

Who should hula hoop? Almost anyone! In fact, I really enjoyed the low-impact quality of this exercise. Running outside is usually my go-to, at-home cardio but sometimes when my knee is really bothering me or it is raining outside I wish I had my own elliptical. This provides a great alternative.

What do you need? A weighted hoop and an open mind. They can be purchased at Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods or online (the hula hoops, not the open mind). I especially liked the Hoopnotica.com website. If you weren’t already buying into the “hoopla”, this colorful and cool website will seal the deal.

When? Anytime! The hoop can be disassembled so you can bring it anywhere.

Where?  Although there are classes offered (hoop provided) you can do this exercise at home relatively cheaply.

Why hula hoop? Because it’s cheaper than a treadmill, can fit in your suitcase or under your bed, can burn 210 calories in 30 minutes, and it’s fun!

How? Pump up your iPod and follow this simple routine from Real Simple magazine.

Want to learn more? Check out Hooping.org which has been around for over ten years. They are the “online hub for the worldwide hooping community, the one-stop resource for all things revolving around the hula hoop including hoop dance, hoop fitness, circus hula hooping and more.”

Get more scoop on the hoop here!