Although hoops have been a popular f
orm of entertainment for children for centuries, it was in the late 1950s that the hula hoop became the worldwide craze of the decade when a plastic hoop was successfully marketed by the Wham-O toy company in California.
With giveaways nationwide marketing and retailing, the hula hoop became the “must have” for every child and teen
After the craze took off in July 1958, twenty-five million plastic hoops were sold in less than four months with sales reaching more than 100 million units in less than two years. Carlon Products Corporation was one of the first manufacturers of the hula hoop and at its peak, was producing more than fifty thousand hoops per day. I was a child then growing up in East Africa and the craze was every bit as popular there too.
We did not know it then but the hula hoop was an excellent form of exercise. While the plastic models available for children will not offer much for an adult, you can purchase weighted hula hoops to effectively workout and get the advantage of all these health benefits.
What can hula hooping do for you?
- It improves hand-eye co-ordination and motor skills. The movements require a significant range of motion for your spine while increased practice can train your spine to a greater range of motions than you are used to, increasing your flexibility and even preventing back injuries.
- It increases your aerobic ability because it is simple and fun but makes your body work hard for its oxygen.
- It improves your mood while making exercise less of a chore. To be able to do something fun and see the improvements to your body can lift your spirit and raise your confidence.
- It is safe because it is low impact so it won't cause injury and you can hula hoop any time and anywhere. Just about anyone can use it to increase their endurance and general fitness level. Hula hooping is so effective as an aerobic workout that an hour of hula hooping can help you burn just as many calories as the same length of time of an intense workout - such as the treadmill. For those unable to perform serious aerobic exercises, due to health reasons, this can be their gateway to better health.
- It improves balance and rhythm. By practicing, your coordination will improve as your body starts to learn the necessary timing. As your skills get better, hula hooping with more than one hoop at once can be challenging and help to improve your coordination even further.
- It strengthens the core by working out several of your body’s core muscles. It strengthens and tones these muscles. Muscles that can be toned by hula hooping include: bottom, thighs, hips, legs, knees and abdomen. In addition, you can twirl a hula hoop with your arms to tone your shoulders and forearms. Hula hooping with heavier hoops can provide additional resistance to tone these muscles faster. It gets you ultra fit with strong and firm abdominals to really improve your body image. The constant motion and the "pushing-pulling" effect hula hooping has on muscles will stretch the muscles, build strength and definition.
- It increases patience and focus.
- It burns off calories and fat. Some of the large muscles of the body are activated causing higher blood flow and increased heart rate. Because of the amount of energy used, your body will burn fat to fuel those large muscles at work.
- It makes you feel and look better as it increases your fitness and improves your body shape.
And of course all these improvements have many follow-on benefits including improved learning ability, increased happiness, ability to work harder but most importantly it provides more energy for the things you enjoy in life.
Always hula hoop in both directions to avoid one sided build up and even back strain
If you can undertake a combination of hula hoop moves for thirty minutes, three times a week, you will find your body becomes toned and your mind increasingly focused. A great work out for both body and mind.
During the recent revitalization of the hula hoop, its uses have been extended to serve as an aid for fitness. A multitude of websites have been created as a result of this revival, many of which provide links to hula hooping clubs, online retailers from which to buy specialized hula hoops and lots of information on workout routines.
Hula hooping has become not just a pastime for children but adults have really taken it over for more of a social activity and form of exercise than it was in the 1950s.