Why Hula Hooping Should Be Part Of Your Workout Routine

Hula hoops might be marketed mainly to kids, but they are actually incredible fitness tools for your body and health. Hula hooping is a cardiovascular exercise, meaning it helps your heart and lungs stay in shape (via Healthline). In turn, cardiovascular activity improves cholesterol numbers, and can lower your risk for diabetes, help your brain function, and reduce stress.

Using a hula hoop also helps strengthen and tone your body. For starters, it builds your core strength, and targets your oblique abdominal muscles, hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Hula hooping also helps improve your balance. If you are looking to lose weight, it can be a fun way to burn calories. The Mayo Clinic reports that women burn about 165 calories and men burn about 200 calories during 30 minutes of hula hooping. This activity can even help you burn fat, especially if you use a weighted exercise hoop (via Healthline).

How to get the most from a hula hoop workout

The first step to getting started with a hula hoop is finding one that is the right size (via Mayo Clinic). When holding the hoop vertically on the ground in front of you, it should come between your waist and upper chest.

You also have the option of buying a weighted hula hoop ranging anywhere from one to five pounds (via Insider). The heavier hoops help you build stronger muscles more quickly than a lightweight hoop. However, it takes more energy to keep a lighter hoop spinning around your waist. American College of Sports Medicine-certified fitness trainer Jennifer Jens told Insider that if you have a history of back problems, you should begin with a non-weighted or lightweight hoop (2 pounds or less) before using a heaver one.

It may take a few tries to get the hang of hula hooping, so don't give up. To ease into it, start with 10-minute sessions and increase minutes as your strength and technique improve. If you stick with it, you should begin to see results in a couple of weeks.