Looking for some reasons to start waist hooping? Here are 21. Psssst... Did you know that they also make hula hoops just for adults? That's right - you can recapture the joy of your childhood while keeping fit! Hula hooping as a weight loss and fitness activity has exploded over the past two years thanks to online influencers and fitness vloggers. And with all this buzz and hype, it's understandable that people want to know more about the real benefits of hula hooping.
Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not a fad! Before this online waist hula hooping explosion, we hoopers have been shouting from the rooftops about what a powerful tool the hula hoop can be. And if you're not convinced, then you need to keep reading. In this article, I've compiled a list of 21 reasons why you need to hop on board the hula hooping train right now!
1. It’s Easy to Start Learning
You might have great ambitions to take up tennis or dance, only to encounter a steep learning curve. This can be very discouraging for people who struggle with insecurities and self-doubts about their physical ability. Fortunately, learning to hoop is comparatively easy! Like with any kind of physical activity, it might take some practice at the start, but compared to other hobbies, you can achieve a lot in a short space of time.
When you first start, you may wonder if you'll ever be able to keep the hoop spinning. But the more you do it, the better you will get. Most people discover after just a few days that they quickly pick it up. Soon, you'll be able to keep going for as long as you have the energy! Next thing you know, you'll be learning all the advanced hoop tricks!
2. It's an Inexpensive Workout
I have a lot of gym-loving friends who were pretty devastated when the lockdowns meant they couldn't get to the gym anymore. And when it became clear the situation wasn't going to get better any time soon, they decided to invest in some home gym equipment. But when they saw those prices - OUCH! Due to the costs of transportation, weights are pricier than you might expect. And if you're looking for a treadmill, stationary bike, or any other kind of home exercise machine, you're going to be paying an arm and a leg. This means that the "home gym" just isn't attainable for a lot of us.
Enter the hula hoop workout. For just $45, you get an extremely versatile fitness tool that can be used in your entire exercise routine (yes, there's more to hula hoops than just waist spinning!). If you become passionate about hooping, you may want to invest in a more expensive hoop, but for beginners, a cheaper starter hoop is perfectly fine!
3. It’s the Ultimate Mood Lifter
Our sedentary lifestyles are undoubtedly a contributing factor to the modern crisis of mental health and wellbeing. The pandemic, which restricted movement and outdoor exercise for many people worldwide, further compounded this issue. If you're someone who is currently struggling with your mental health, then one of the best things you can do is start moving. Exercise has been shown to boost serotonin levels in the brain, which is why it's such a powerful way to tackle depression and anxiety.
Personally, I think hula hooping is the ultimate form of exercise for anyone looking for a mood booster. I challenge you to feel sad while hooping! There is a big reason why so many people that get into hooping stick with it - hula hoop exercise is incredibly uplifting. It simply makes you feel good. After hooping for 20 minutes or more (it may not even take that long) you can start to feel a burst of positive energy. Pairing it with music, just makes it even better!
4. It’s an Awesome Way to Improve Coordination
Improving coordination can often be overlooked in fitness circles. But when you think about it, coordination is central for a lot of our daily activities, whether that's driving a car or running up and down the stairs. As we get older, our body coordination can get less effective, which means that accidents and falls become more likely. So how can we ensure that our coordination skills stay sharp? Like with anything in life, it's all about practice. If you want to improve your coordination, then you need to do exercises that require two or more separate movements (simple as that). Hooping can be a great way to do this!
Hooping, both on and off-body, requires a certain amount of both full body and hand-eye coordination. When you are learning off-body tricks, on-body moves, and transitions between the two, you are becoming more coordinated. Drilling moves over and over will make you a hoop star in no time. This, in turn, will improve your brain-body coordination.
5. Hula Hoop Workouts Keep You Flexible
Flexibility is something many of us took for granted when we were very young. Back then, touching your toes wasn't a big deal. But our joints and muscles stiffen as we get older, and our flexibility can dramatically reduce. This can come as a bit of a shock when we suddenly realize that we can't do the same movements we used to be able to do! But the loss of flexibility doesn't have to be inevitable. With the right form of exercise, you can stay supple well into middle age (and even old age).
Yoga and Pilates are some of the most popular exercises for improving flexibility, but did you know that hula hooping can help too? When you start hooping, you will bend and stretch your body in ways you may not have done before. And not just because you're repeatedly bending down to pick up the hoop! If you get deep into hooping, there are plenty of advanced hula hooping tricks that can challenge your body's flexibility. And who doesn't love a challenge?
6. You Can Use Hula Hooping to Start Building Lean Muscle
All muscle is lean, but you will probably hear the phrase "lean muscle" thrown around a lot in the hula hoop weight loss and fitness world. When people use this term, they are usually referring to visible muscle mass that doesn’t have a lot of fat surrounding it. Think visible abs and toned upper arms. Many women make it their goal to gain this kind of lean muscle mass, but sometimes it can be difficult to get the balance right. Building muscle requires an increase in caloric intake, but on the flip side, too many calories can cause you to gain fat.
If you're one of those people striving for a lean yet toned body, then hula hooping is the perfect exercise for you. By combining cardio and low-impact resistance exercise, hula hooping can help you develop your muscle mass while trimming your body fat percentage.
7. It’s a Powerful Stamina Booster
If you have a busy life - chasing kids, running a business, building your career, or studying for a degree - you probably have those times where you just don't feel like you have the physical stamina to push through the day. If that sounds like you, then you might notice a big difference if you start incorporating some regular exercise into your daily routine. It might seem counterintuitive - and of course, proper rest, a balanced diet, and self-care are just as essential - but when we increase our physical exercise, it can give us an energy boost and increase our body's ability to cope with our physical (and mental) load.
I know that fitting in frequent exercise might not seem very appealing if you’re already low on stamina, but this is where hula hooping really shines. Any passionate hula hooper can attest to the fact that waist hooping is addictive! When you really get into hooping, you'll want to do it for longer and longer. You don't notice the time pass when you're hooping! Over time, this will condition your body and improve your fitness level. In return, you will have much more stamina for your exercise routine, but also your daily life.
8. It’s the Perfect Social Distancing Activity
We're starting to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but depending on your state or country, you may still be required to socially distance. And even if not mandatory, you may not be comfortable yet engaging in activities that involve getting up close and personal with the people around you.
This is the great thing about hula hooping. There's no need to enforce any social distancing - the hoop does it for you! When you start hula hooping you realise pretty quickly that you need a certain amount of space around you. During group hula hooping, participating hoopers need to stay approximately six feet apart or more for safety. No more awkward conversations explaining why you still want to socially distance!
9. It Helps You Develop Correct Posture
Modern life has taken quite a toll on our posture. Many of us are stuck behind desks, hunched over a screen throughout the day, with little opportunity to stretch our bodies. Long shifts of office work can lead to poor posture, which in turn leads to a whole host of other health issues such as back pain, headaches, muscle tension, and so forth. To combat poor posture, it can be helpful to regularly exercise your back muscles in a way that forces us to pay attention to our posture. On-body hooping is an excellent way to do this!
To hoop effectively, you're forced to straighten your back and open your chest. You will engage your back muscles and strengthen your abs, which helps to alleviate tension in your back and shoulders. Over time, this will lead to a more correct posture, which will in turn improve your health and well-being. And if you're looking for a great way to tackle your posture issues while hooping, try to hoop in front of a mirror, or if that's not an option, record yourself hula hooping. When you can see yourself in action, it's easier to address your posture issues and focus on engaging those back muscles.
10. It Can Protect Your Brain Against Cognitive Impairment
Yes. You read that right. Hooping can improve your cognition. Hula hooping is a form of cardio exercise, and regular cardio is heavily linked to improved brain function. One reason for this may be due to the link between cardio and improved circulation, which is essential for maintaining the health of our brain. One study published by the American Academy of Neurology discovered that older people with mild cognitive impairment who began to engage in regular aerobic exercise showed significant improvement during cognitive testing after six months.
But that doesn't mean cardio is only beneficial for older people - everyone's brain can benefit from regular exercise. If you have a job that is mentally demanding, hooping can give you that extra boost to keep you on you’re a-game.
11. Hooping Can Help You to Trim Your Midsection
For many women, the midsection is an area that is notoriously difficult to tone and trim. As we age, we naturally store more fat in this area, and this can be hard to shift. And sadly, no matter how many sit-ups you do, you're not going to be able to spot reduce. BUT here’s the thing! One hula hoop weight loss study did show that regular hooping led to a certain amount of body fat redistribution. Participants who were measured before and after a six-week period of regular hooping had significantly less fat around their waists by the end of the study. Yes, that's right - hula hooping might actually spot reduce. This is an area that definitely needs further study!
Additionally, post-partum women might also benefit from regular hula hooping. Pregnancy can cause significant loss of core strength and can sometimes lead to diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). This can result in a visible pooch, but more seriously, it can also cause lower back pain and urinary incontinence. Some exercises can even make diastasis recti worse, so it can be a challenge for post-partum moms that want to embark on an exercise routine to regain their core strength. While there is a lack of studies in this area, hula hooping is known to be a low-impact form of core exercise, and anecdotally, some moms find it has helped them to knit their tummy muscles back together. Of course, if you're unsure whether your body is up to weighted hula hoop exercise, then consult with your doctor first.
12. You Might Make Some Lifelong Friends Through Hooping
Isolation and loneliness used to be taboo subjects, but the pandemic forced these issues into the public consciousness. With remote working becoming the norm, many of us are struggling with a lack of social interaction and not much opportunity for making new friends. I'm sure you've probably heard that the best way to make new friends is to get a hobby - well I can certainly vouch for the truth in that!
I think one of the best ways to bond with new people is through a shared passion. This is actually one of my favorite things about hooping - all the cool people you meet at various hoop workshops and hoop jams. Finding others to hoop with, sharing hooping techniques, tips, and tricks, and just overall having a good time - it's the best! Hula hooping is such an inclusive hobby; everyone can do it. You might even make some life-long friends.
13. Hooping Can Be a Bonding Activity for the Whole Family
Just you wait - once your child sees your hula hoop they're going to demand one too! Most kids aren't going to be able to join you on the treadmill or lift weights with you, but hooping is an activity the whole family can join.
Exercising with your kids can be a great way to bond with them. It's something positive to share while keeping everybody fit and healthy. You can schedule regular hooping into your family routine and make it something everyone looks forward to. Whether you're a working parent or a busy at-home mom, sometimes it can be hard to find the time to get regular exercise and quality family time. Hooping can let you combine the two! You never know - they may even teach you something. Ha!
14. Hula Hooping Makes You Stronger
It's a given that hula hoop workouts force you to engage your core. As a result, waist hula hoopers often have strong cores and well-developed abdominal muscles. But these aren't the only muscles that you can strengthen while hula hooping! With the right moves and enough practice, you can use your hula hoop to build all-over muscle strength.
Some hoopers like to do arm raises and moves of this nature with a weighted hula hoop to target their upper body. Others like to grip and press the hoop to use it as a resistance tool. Your hoop can be integrated into nearly any exercise - leg raises, squats, bridges, and even jumping jacks!
15. Hula Hooping Can Raise Your Self Confidence
Many of us struggle with our self-confidence. It's a harsh world out there, with a lot of pressure to look perfect, be perfect, and live a perfect life. This can take a toll on our self-esteem and sense of self-worth. One of the best ways to combat this is to get really good at something. Hula hooping can be an excellent way to build self-confidence in this way. It might seem challenging in the beginning, but once you practice, you'll see fast results!
One of the coolest things about hooping is landing a move that you thought you "couldn't" do, or thought was too hard. There really isn't a better confidence booster! The longer you practice hooping, the more confident you will end up becoming, and this will permeate the rest of your life too. If you can become an accomplished hooper, then what else can you achieve?
16. Hula Hooping is an Excellent Way to Improve Your Balance
There's a fun word for our body's ability to sense its position and movement - proprioception. For most people, this is an ability we take for granted. But without this sense, we wouldn't be able to walk or do much physical activity at all. By engaging in exercises that challenge our body's ability to balance, we can hone our sense of proprioception and bodily awareness.
Hooping is a form of movement that involves many parts of the body. It requires us to rapidly shift our weight back and forth as well as side to side while keeping the hoop spinning. All of this requires balance and a significant amount of body awareness. This makes hula hooping the perfect exercise for anyone who wants to improve these skills. All the small movements involved in maintaining our balance while hooping, have the added benefit of improving our joint stability, which is essential for our health as we get older.
17. You Can Use Hula Hooping to Practice Daily Mindfulness
True mindfulness means living in the moment, without judgment. If you spend any time around very young children, you'll see how they live in a naturally mindful way. However, as we grow older, and acquire responsibilities and worries, we lose this ability to stay mindful. It's hard to live in the moment when we're thinking about an assignment we have to hand in tomorrow or a bill we have to pay.
By practicing mindfulness, we can combat a lot of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. There are lots of ways to do this - meditation being one of the most popular - but hooping can also be an excellent form of mindfulness training. As a flow art, hooping requires us to enter a "flow state". When we're in this state, we can let go of conscious thought and get lost in the moment. We can feel the hoop moving around our bodies, we can feel our breath, and we can hear the music. There is no space for worries or anxious thoughts at that moment - we are simply present in our bodies.
18. Hooping It Puts the Fun Back into Cardio
Cardio is short for cardiovascular, and most of us know that cardio exercises are important for maintaining our heart health. But the benefits don't stop there – regular cardio exercise has also been shown to improve sleep problems, reduce the risk of stroke, boost mood, keep your joints in good shape and contribute to a healthy BMI. But for some people, cardio exercise is just not very appealing - either because they find it too challenging or too boring.
In my experience, hula hooping is the perfect answer for cardio-haters. The challenge of keeping the hoop spinning, adds an extra element of fun that's missing from other forms of popular gym cardio like the treadmill or stationary bike. Additionally, hula hoop exercise doesn't really feel like cardio. People who struggle to run for more than a minute, often find that they can keep hooping for far longer than that!
19. Hooping Can Teach You How to Express Yourself More Freely
Hula hooping is a form of self-expression. It can even be a highly creative activity. When you're waist hooping to music, you are not just dancing freely, you are also expressing your emotions through your movement.
There are no rules, nobody to judge you - you have the freedom to move however feels right. This can be a great way to quieten that inner critic of ours who is constantly telling us that we're not good enough. We can simply let go, let our body express itself, and forget about what other people think. In this way, hula hooping is an excellent creative outlet, especially for people who are naturally inhibited or feel unable to express themselves creatively in their daily lives.
20. Hooping is Great Way to Swap a Bad Habit for a Good One
We all have some bad habits. It might be smoking, excessive drinking, or binge-eating. Dropping these habits can be enormously challenging. Lots of people try to quit their bad habits cold turkey, only to quickly fall back into their old ways.
Let me tell you a secret - one of the best ways to change a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. I've known many ex-cigarette smokers, drinkers, and over-eaters who started hooping and quickly dropped their unhealthy habits in the process. Each time you want to reach for a cigarette, or eat through that entire tub of ice cream, pick up your hula hoop instead. Get moving! You'll be surprised at how quickly you forget about your cravings and get lost in the flow. Hooping will give you something positive to focus on, taking your attention away from your negative desires. #winning.
21. It Can Become a Lifelong Passion
When you find that one hobby that's your "thing" it can transform your life. Staying fit and healthy gets more difficult as we get older, and the busier our lives become. It can be difficult to motivate ourselves to do something that's just for the benefit of our health. When you develop a passion for something like hula hooping, you don't need extrinsic motivation because you will look forward to the intrinsic joy of doing the activity itself.
People who take up hooping often carry this hobby well into their life and it saves them from the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle. So, if you're looking for something fun, healthy and uplifting, I say hula hooping is the way to go!
If you’re interested in getting started on your hula hooping fitness journey, then why not check out Hoop to the Rhythm’s Patreon account? For a small fee (less than a typical gym membership!) you will get access to our whole library of content, including hula hoop weight