We can probably all remember those fluorescent hula hoops we played with as children, but did you know that reviving that childhood game could help us trim our waistlines? If you’re getting thick round the middle then could exercising with a hula hoop be the answer for you?
Geting fit over 50 can be fun!
Hula Hoops , when used correctly, are said to help tone abdominal muscles, reduce waistlines, contribute to weight loss, improve posture and increase confidence. All while having fun!
Hula hoops used for adult exercise, are heavier than those used as a toy by children. They are sold at varying weights (I’m told a 40 inch 650 gram hoop is typically a good starting point for a beginner).
Apparently with the weight of the hoop being heavier, it rotates more slowly and gives you time to manoeuvre and properly engage your muscles. Depending on where you buy the hula hoop , some come with an instructional DVD, some outlets sell the hoop and DVD separately.
I spoke to Pavi Tri who runs ‘hoop’ workshops and classes. Pavi said that she would recommend those using hoops at home to start with 2 sessions per day each 10- 15 minutes and build up. As Pavi said,
“It’s all about muscle memory, and working at the pace your body tells you too. It’s often the people who find it the hardest to get started who stick with it and get the best results. I started out in a class situation. At the end of the first session everybody else ‘got it’. It took me three sessions but I loved it- and now I’m teaching. Some are better co-ordinated to begin with than others”
Pavi also says: “Don’t be tempted to start with too heavy a hoop thinking you’ll get results more quickly, the likelihood is that if the hoop is too heavy you will experience bruising and give up. With the right weight of hoop it should be straightforward and fun”.
In terms of how quickly you can expect to see results from exercising with the hula hoop, Pavi says it really is down to the individual’s level of muscle tone and body fat at the start. Individuals taking her classes have had great results.
Tips for getting the most out of exercising with a hula hoop:
How do I start hula hooping?
Here is a simple warm up exercise that will help to make hula hooping easier and fun:
Place one foot in front of the other keeping a gap of about 10 inches (make sure the body weight is evenly distributed).
Knees bent slightly, shoulders back to keep the spine straight and head up (this is your perfect posture) – no looking down, no leaning forward.
Push the pelvis forward and then back. Do this a few times. Start slowly, then move a little faster to push the hip forward and back.
Practice for about three minutes making sure you change legs.
This can act both as a warm up and an introduction to hula hooping.
The second style of hula hooping that will suit some people is as follows:
Place feet about hip width apart, knees slightly bent, shoulders back and head up (look straight ahead).
Push hips from side to side. Start slow, then speed up and again slow.
The above will warm up the main joints – hips and knees. It will also work the abdominals and thighs.
What will I need to bring to the hoop class?
Wear fitness or gym clothing and sports shoes, and as with any aerobic exercise, bring water to keep yourself hydrated.
So, happy hula hooping! Fun and fitness together. Fabulous!
Hula Hoops start from as little as £12 online. Dance Hoop with Hooping instructions from Amazon