There is no question that the hula hoop is one of the most unique and innovative sports/entertainment devices ever created! Its versatility in terms of both how it works and what you can do with it makes it a versatile tool for exercise and fun.
Does it help you lose weight?
Yes, definitely! Just like any other sport or activity, physical therapy, and proper workout regimen, you can use the hula hoop to shed off those extra pounds. In fact, there are numerous benefits to the hula hoop, and we will discuss a few of them.
Hula Hooping Promotes Cardio Education
Let’s be honest – who knows how much time we spend on our iPhones playing endless rounds of Candy Crush or watching YouTube videos of cats doing amazing stunts? While these activities are fun and offer great entertainment value, they’re also essentially useless for getting in shape. Well, the hula hoop changes all that!
By incorporating movement into your workouts, whether you’re playing with a hula hoop or not, you’re providing your body with a great workout. Plus, the simple act of throwing the hoop around is highly engaging and provides you with a way to get your workout in without feeling like you’re wasting your time. (And for some people, throwing a hula hoop is a hell of a lot of fun!)
According to a recent study from the United Kingdom, people who played with a hula hoop for three weeks lost an average of 2.4% of their body weight in that time. That’s a significant amount of weight loss, and it comes without dieting or exercising any more than usual!
Hula Hopping Makes Your Muscles Work Harder
Yes, another great thing about the hula hoop is that it makes your muscles work harder than usual! When you play with the hoop, it causes your body to work in different ways. For instance, your arms and legs will start to tire quickly, forcing you to adjust your workout – or take a break! – in order to restore balance and keep your muscles challenged.
As a result of using the hoop, you body will be forced to adapt and change, increasing your metabolism and making it easier for you to lose weight. It’s a simple yet extremely effective trick that’s been shown to work.
Hula Hooping Builds Strength
The strength of your core muscles is important for maintaining a healthy body. After all, the stronger your core muscles are, the more your entire body will be able to rely on them. The best way to increase your core strength is through constant exercise, including the hula hoop. As we’ve discussed already, the hoop makes your body active and engaged, increasing the strength of your muscles and giving you a greater sense of accomplishment.
When you play with the hoop, you’ll notice that your arms and legs start to tire quickly. In order to prevent yourself from getting dizzy or losing your balance, you have to work hard to keep your muscles engaged. In other words, it builds strength. And who doesn’t like strong women and men?
One study from 2016 found that hula hooping increased the strength of women’s core muscles by 14% and that of men’s core muscles by 20%. So, not only does it help you lose weight, but it also makes your muscles stronger! Win-win!
Hula Hooping Helps Reduce Stress And Anxiety
We all get stressed out from time to time. Whether it’s worrying about exams, money problems, or family conflicts, constantly feeling nervous and anxious is something that everyone has to deal with. The key to reducing stress and anxiety is by using proper nutrition and supplements, talking to your doctor about medications, and getting plenty of sleep. So, what else can you do?
One way of dealing with stress and anxiety is through exercise. We already know how useful the hula hoop is for exercise, so it makes sense that it would also be able to reduce stress and anxiety. After all, being active is one of the best ways of reducing your perceived stress. (And let’s face facts: at the end of the day, we all just want to be happy and have a good time.)
A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine in 2016 found that people who hula hoop two days a week for four weeks reported significant reductions in stress and anxiety. In fact, 39% of the participants no longer considered themselves to be stressed out after just four weeks of hula hooping! That’s incredible!
As a result of its calming effect on the body, the hula hoop is perfect for use before bedtime or anytime you need a break from the everyday stresses of life. Just imagine how much more relaxed and confident you’ll feel going into an important business meeting or social event. You’ll feel great and be able to enjoy yourself, knowing that you’ve got this outlet for all your stresses and anxieties. (Just don’t throw it too dangerously near the television!)
Hula Hooping Promotes Brain Function
The human brain is one of the most complex organs in the body. It’s made up of cells that communicate with each other via chemical messengers – or neurotransmitters. These messengers are like the postal service of the brain: they transport information from one cell to another. As a result of constant use, your body’s supply of neurotransmitters becomes depleted, leaving you feeling less sharp and more sluggish.
If you want to maintain a healthy brain, it’s necessary to keep the neurotransmitters replenished. You can do this by getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritious meals, and avoiding stress and excessive alcohol. (If you’re wondering, excessive alcohol is a major cause of malnutrition in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 2 out of 3 people experience malnutrition due to an unhealthy diet. This can lead to serious health problems such as liver damage, heart disease, and diabetes. It also makes you more susceptible to infections and complications during and after surgery. So, if you’re drinking alcohol, you need to stop. Now!)
To that end, the hula hoop can help! As we’ve discussed, the hoop makes you active and engaged, increasing the production of neurotransmitters in your brain. This, in turn, will make you feel happier and more relaxed.
A review published in 2017 in the journal Current Neuropharmacology discusses how the hula hoop may be able to increase the amount of certain neurotransmitters in your brain. The scientists at the University of Sydney who conducted the study believe that the hoop may have beneficial effects on the brain and nervous system of older adults. Some of the benefits they identified include the possibility of reducing anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.
An excellent example of the potential of the hula hoop for improving cognitive function is a study done in Taiwan in 2016. That study compared the effects of using the hoop with that of a conventional aerobic exercise program in seniors. At the end of the fourth week of the study, the researchers concluded that participants who used the hoop demonstrated significant improvements in their cognitive function as compared to those in the control group. (This was particularly true for complex tasks such as identifying words in sentences or solving complex mathematical problems.)
The scientists behind this study believed that the benefits of the hoop were due to its effects on the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for forming new memories and storing them. The act of throwing the hoop promotes physical activity, which in turn helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. (Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than 5.3 million people in the United States and is among the top 10 leading causes of death. It is also one of the most expensive diseases to treat.)
Hula hooping is a fun and exciting way to work out. Not only does it help you lose weight and maintain a healthy body, but it also promotes brain function and has the potential to reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re interested in trying the activity, I would suggest getting a hula hoop that’s larger than usual. This will make it easier for you to perform basic movements. If you’d like an additional boost of motivation, you can also look into buying a branded or personalized hula hoop. These types of hoops offer the same benefits as the regular ones, but they come with a fun surprise inside! (Just don’t throw it near the TV, or else you may end up causing damage.)