What Happens To Your Body When You Hula Hoop Every Day?

When you think of hula hooping, it may send you reminiscing down memory lane. This popular children's activity has even the top A-list celebrities, like Michelle Obama and Beyonce, hooping for fun (via American Council on Exercise). Dating back to ancient Greece and Egypt, hula hooping is steeped in two things — exercise and fun. But how does this activity affect your body?

According to Mayo Clinic, a quick 30-minute hooping session can burn up to 200 calories in men and 165 in women. It's comparable to other aerobic exercises as it gets your heart racing and blood pumping. U.S. News & World Reports explains, like any aerobic activity, hooping can help you burn more calories (potentially leading to weight loss), improve blood sugar levels, and boost heart health.

Not to mention, regular hooping is a great exercise for activating several muscle groups. Similar to walking or cycling, hooping targets the core, glutes, calves, and upper leg muscles, points out James Hicks, a cardiopulmonary physiologist at the University of California in Irvine (per U.S. News & World Reports).

But the biggest change you may notice from hooping is that you're smiling more. "It's fun," points out certified fitness trainer Kristin Weitzel. "And as much as we may try to tell ourselves otherwise, not all exercising is fun" (via U.S. News & World Reports).

Can hula hooping help you lose tummy fat?

If you're looking for a tummy fat burning exercise, hula hooping may be the perfect exercise for you. One 2015 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the fitness benefits of hula hooping by placing 13 women in a hula-hooping program for six weeks. Researchers found that regular hula hooping with a weighted hoop can reduce hip girth and waistline and can also redistribute body mass. During the study women on average lost 1.4 centimeters from their hips and 3.4 centimeters from their waistline.

Another 2019 study indicated similar hula hoop findings. Not only does a weighted hula hoop decrease abdominal fat, but researchers found in overweight individuals it can also lower LDL cholesterol.

But if you're looking for chiseled abs, hula hooping isn't the best activity for this fitness goal. The study points out that "there were no improvements in torso muscular endurance as measured by isometric testing" (via Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research). While hula hooping trims the waistline, you'll want to add in other core stabilizing exercises such as planks, reverse crunches, mountain climbers, and toe taps to help define those abs (per Fit & Well). Don't forget to maintain a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, and take breaks for optimal recovery.