My Fitness Journey and the Weighted Hula Hoop

“We are the leaders in the hottest new fitness trend- a high cardio workout program that is so much fun, that it is taking the world by storm. What was made popular by Wham-O in the 50′s (remember the Hula Hoop?) has transitioned into a non-impact, fat-burning workout that strengthens your core, and calms your mind.”  From Hoopnotica website

Hula hoops are not just a child’s toy. I loved hula hoops when I was young and Wham-O was my first hula hoop, so it is not surprising that I would go back to it as an adult. I bought one of the new weighted hula hoops.  They come with a caution not to use for more than a minute the first few times and gradually work up to 10 minutes max because at first it can cause bruising and soreness around your waist.  That was okay with me because it was a slow process to get up to 10 minutes.  It was rather humorous the first time I tried to use it.  I think I got a couple of rotations in before it fell to the ground.

At first there is a lot of “thinking” going on in your head as you tried to “figure out” how to keep it spinning longer.  The hoop helps you get in touch with your body in a new way and out of your head by centering your mind and putting your focus on your body. If you lose focus and get distracted by something else the hoop will fall.  Your focus and attention is on the hoop swishing around your body and making contact with it. This happens automatically once you get the hang of it.  This is why Hoopnotica feels it is a mind body exercise.

I keep my hoop right where I can see it and usually try to use it a couple of times a day.   I have to say after a few weeks I am getting quite good at it.  I can even catch it with my hips if it falls and bring it back to my waist.  That is as fancy as it gets right now.  Who knows what I might be able to do with practice!

The Mayo Clinic posted this article on their website:  ” Do weighted hula hoops provide a good workout, or are they just a gimmick?”
I was happy to find that Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. who wrote the article thought it was a good addition to a workout.  He said;

“Weighted hula hoops can be a good addition to your exercise program, especially if you’re able to hula hoop for at least 10 minutes at a time. In fact, any type of hula hooping, with a weighted hula hoop or a regular hula hoop, can help you meet your exercise goals. “

In another article “Hula hooping burns calories” on WebMD they actually did a study and they found working out with a hula hoop burns about as many calories per minute as step aerobics, boot camp or very brisk walking.

“The study participants’ average heart rate was a brisk 151 beats per minute, about 84% of their age-predicted maximum heart rates. Their average oxygen consumption was about 20 milliliters per kilogram per minute, resulting in about 7 calories burned for each minute of hooping, or about 210 calories burned in a half-hour class.”

It is important to get a hoop that is right for you. The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and chest when it’s resting vertically on the ground. The weight of the hoop is up to you. The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going. But the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep going, which means you may be able to do it for a longer period of time. You can experiment with different hoops to see which kind and size you prefer.

I did a lot of research before buying mine and found the best selection and price for weighted hoops at Sports Hula Hoops.  There are places around town, like Sports Authority where you can buy them but they don’t have the weight and size options.  Sports Hula Hoops has charts so you can determine the right size and weight to buy.

I also like the hoops at Hoopnotica too, though I don’t think theirs is weighted.  They have a folding hoop for travel and a hoop that lights up for those late night hooping sessions. 

I love their philosophy, they see it as a mind body workout:

“At Hoopnotica, we believe that there is a transition occurring in the world of physical fitness; that holistic wellness is supreme to “working out”, and that our bodies are a reflection of our mind’s ability to be centered and powerful in everything we do. Hoopnotica is a tool we have found for tapping into that energy, while not straying too far from typical physical fitness programs. Simply put: We want you to sweat; laugh; and challenge your limits with every “swish” of the hoop.”

So, grab your hoops and lets start “swishing”!

I hoping to be able to do what they are doing in the video someday!

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