Current Moon Phase

Waxing Crescent
11% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Hula Hoop Your Way to Health!

Hula Hoop Your Way to Health!

The hula hoop became a craze in the late 1950s when the Wham-O company successfully marketed a plastic version as a toy. It is estimated that over 100 million hoops were sold in 1958-59, securing the hoop’s eventual induction in the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.

Today, the hula hoop is making a comeback, but not necessarily as a kids’ toy. It has now emerged as a fitness tool.

Hooping is a great cardio workout that can burn between 400 and 600 calories in an hour, while also improving core strength and toning the abdominal muscles, arms, thighs, and butt. It’s high energy, but low impact, which means it doesn’t put stress on the knees. Plus, it’s fun!

For maximum benefit, weighted hula hoops are often used for working out. Weighted hoops are bigger and heavier than traditional hula hoops. If you try a weighted hula hoop, be sure to select one that is the right size for you. The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and chest when it is resting vertically on the ground.

The weight of the hoop is personal preference. A smaller, lighter hoop takes more energy to keep going. A bigger, heavier hoop is easier to keep going, which means you can probably do it for a longer period of time. Experiment with different hoops to see which kind and size you prefer. Weighted hula hoops are available from sporting goods stores and online retailers. Some fitness clubs have hoops available for members to use.

Once you are proficient in spinning the hoop around your hips in one direction, challenge yourself by reversing it. You’ll be amazed at how it’s easier one way than the other. And you can also shake your workout up a bit and by spinning it around your arms (one at a time). Just be sure you’ve got plenty of room around you so your hoop doesn’t hit anything or anyone. Then let go and have fun!

4 comments

1 Greenwood Nursery { 01.18.12 at 9:34 pm }

I purchased a hula hoop last summer and was so excited. Then it ended up in a closet and I forgot about. This article from the newsletter reminded me to get it out and work it. Oh, I didn’t know that the correct size hula hoop should reach between the waist and chest when positioned on the ground. A fun article. Thanks Judy. – Cheryl

2 Jaime McLeod { 01.18.12 at 1:14 pm }

Debbie,
I just read the article you referenced and I think this one is different enough to not warrant suspicion. This is a general knowledge topic that contains basic enough information not to require attribution from an expert source. Any fitness instructor or hula hoop hobbyist could have supplied the same information.

3 Diana { 01.18.12 at 10:54 am }

Maybe the MayoClinic site took the article from Farmer’s Almanac. Or possibly they both got if from an info site that didn’t warrent recognition… Good information! I will be adding a hoop to my daily routine! And you can buy one for next to nothing at Walmart!! Thanks!

4 Debbie { 01.17.12 at 4:43 pm }

I’m surprised that much of this is paraphrased from an article on the MayoClinic site without attribution. See:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weighted-hula-hoops/AN01638

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.