Hula Hooping Effectively Burns Calories

Summary
Modern-day fitness workouts provide many options such as cardio kickboxing, power yoga, boot camps exercise and bar-oriented classes. Hooping, a modern form of hula hoop playing, is also included in several fitness programs offered by gyms. The modern hoop uses larger and heavier rings that are slow in rotation and easier to perform with. The current study found out that calorie loss during hooping is comparable to other exercises. It has additional potential benefits like improving flexibility and enabling relaxation.

Introduction
Playing the hula hoop originated thousands of years ago in Egypt and ancient Greece and later gained popularity in the 1950s. In recent times, hooping has re-emerged as a form of dance expression and a fitness tool. Such fitness classes generally incorporate a wide variety of hooping choreography and dance music in a fun-filled group workout. Hooping is becoming a fitness phenomenon but its exact benefits on fitness parameters are not scientifically documented. It is still considered a child’s activity. This study, sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, was aimed at finding the potential heart related and calorie-burning benefits of hooping.

Methodology
* The study included 16 female volunteers practicing hooping for some duration. . They were aged between 16 and 59.
* Each participant did two practice sessions of a 35-minute hooping workout prior to the actual testing.
* The final test included a hooping workout for 30 minutes while wearing portable machines that analyzed oxygen consumption and heart-rate every minute.
* Participants also indicated their perceived exertion during this session every five minutes.

Results
* Hooping exercise burned 7 cal /min on an average, while step aerobic exercises and power yoga burn 5.9 cal /min. Boot camp exercises burn 7.5 cal /min and cardio kickboxing burns 8.1 cal/min.
* Mean oxygen consumption was 20.6 ml/kg/min during hooping exercise, while corresponding values were 23.4 for step aerobic exercise, 18.7 for power yoga, 25.9 for boot camp exercise and 25.7 for cardio kickboxing.
* The average heart rate during hooping was 151 beats per minute, approximately 84 percent of the age-predicted highest heart rate that an individual can safely achieve through exercise stress.
* Participants subjectively rated their hooping as somewhat hard when their perceived exertion was analyzed.

Shortcomings/Next Steps
This study has been sponsored by the American Council on Exercise and includes data from a single session of experiments on 16 participants. A proper training study to determine the long-term benefits of hooping exercise needs to be designed and conducted.

Conclusion
Hooping is usually considered a fun activity but its potential in improving cardiovascular fitness and weight management is relatively unknown. The findings of this study suggest that hooping is comparable, on several parameters, to other exercises such as step aerobics and cardio kickboxing. The average calorie burnout of 210 calories per 30-minute hooping session confirms its place in weight management. Hooping has many advantages. Its variety of movements has the potential to improve flexibility and balance as well as strengthen muscles of the back, abdomen, arms and legs. Hooping is a rhythmic activity and can also produce relaxation and meditative state for some people.

For More Information:
Hooping: Not Just Child’s Play But An Effective Exercise Too

By Jordan Holthusen; John Porcari PhD; Exercise and Health Program at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

*FYI Living Lab Reports Are Summaries of the Original Research.


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