7 reasons hula hooping is a happy menopause workout
Hula hooping's not just a modern fitness fad. There’s evidence that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians hooped it up both for fun, and to maintain fitness.
We love hula hooping as it burns as many calories as boxing or doing aerobics. Start with basic exercises to get the hang of controlling the hoop, the more you practice, the more toned your body will become. There’s no age limit with this mood-boosting, smile-generating exercise.
Size matters! Use a hula hoop that's the right size for you. The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and mid-chest when resting vertically on the ground.The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going. The bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep going, meaning you may be able to do it for longer periods of time. Hoops don’t cost the earth and you can get segmented ones that are easier to store.
here's 7 reasons why hula hooping is a fun fitness workout through menopause and beyond.
Regular hula hooping could help to whittle your waist, strengthen core stomach muscles and blast fat in those (often problematic) areas. Hula hooping burns visceral fat – the 'deep' fat stored under the skin, sometimes called 'belly fat', that's hardest to lose as we hit menopause and is the most detrimental to heart health. A win-win situation, don’t you think?
Recent studies have suggested that hula hooping works up to 30 of the body’s muscles, working arms and thighs as well as the complete core.
Burn, calories, burn!
The American Council on Exercise has shown that hooping burns over 400 calories/hour. Following women between the ages of 16 and 59, they looked at hooping’s potential cardio and calorie-burning benefits. They found hooping it up for eight minutes gives you a good cardiovascular workout and burns a whopping 50 calories, or a satisfying 6.25 calories per minute! Burn, calories, burn!
Hooping for heart health
Hooping's an intense workout that helps to strengthen muscles and is the perfect workout for one of the most important muscles of all, your heart! As soon as you start twirling the hoop, you’ll notice your heart rate rockets! Hooping for twenty minutes a day counts towards the moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity that's recommended for improving health as we hit menopause.
Spine strength & flexibility
Hooping needs a degree of flexibility, the more you do it, the greater your flexibility should become. Increased flexibility can help in the battle to prevent joint and osteoporosis issues. According to the diet and health blog 3FatChicks, ‘This kind of movement releases the tension of the muscles surrounding the sacrum (the lower part of the back) and realigns the sacrum with the rest of the spine. As a result, blood flow to the spine improves and total flexibility of the spine is increased.’
Improves motor skills
Hula hooping requires hand-eye co-ordination and challenges your brain as well as your muscles. Hooping in both your natural direction and your reverse directions (recommended) is an excellent opportunity for your brain to engage both your dominant and non-dominant sides.
Hooping = happiness
Hot Flush love hooping because it makes us feel happy. But other than the burst of endorphins we enjoy after a good bout of hooping, there can be other subtler, positive effects on psyche. After hooping we feel stronger, more toned and hopefully, more confident versions of ourselves.
The bottom line is that just an 8 minute-a-day hooping workout can give you a big fitness payoff.
Check with your doctor before using a hula hoop if you have any medical issues, especially a history of back problems. And as with any physical activity, stop hula hooping and consult your doctor if you develop pain or other symptoms.