Hooping it Up

by TJ Davis | August 24th, 2010 | Exercise Equipment

One of the newest fitness crazes involves an ancient piece of fitness equipment. And when I say ancient, I don’t mean pre-21st century equipment, like that vibrating abdominal belt machine that was all the rage in health spas in the 1950s; I mean training for the Greek Olympics ancient. Most of you, however, will remember it as a favorite childhood toy.

The hula hoop was made popular by the Wham-O company in the late ’50s. So popular, in fact, that 20 million of them sold in just the first six months of production. Nineteenth century British sailors are credited with coining the term “hula hoop” when, while in Hawaii, they noticed the similarities between hula dancing and hooping. The term stuck, and was later trademarked by Arthur Melin and Richard Kerr, founders of Wham-O.

Remember the endless hours of fun and frustration trying to keep that round plastic tube on your waist? The more agile among us would wield three or more on waist, arms, legs, and even neck. Turns out that hooping was more than just great fun… it was great exercise.

Today, companies all over are manufacturing specialized adult-sized hoops for fitness. These hoops come in varying diameters and weights to accommodate every fitness level and need. Hooping is truly a total body workout. Just maintaining one hoop around your waist works your core, arms, legs, hips, back and neck. Hooping offers more than just muscle toning; it helps you establish and maintain balance in your body. Your brain gets a workout, too, providing the focus it takes to stay coordinated as you hoop. And, in case you need one more benefit to convince you to try it, hooping also relieves stress by releasing endorphins as you laugh at yourself and your friends having so much fun getting fit.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.