Hoops were used in dance and sports for thousands of years, from ancient Egypt to the Americas, before the hula hoop burst onto the scene in the 1950s. Today's hula hoop isn't your grandmother's lightweight plastic hoop. The latest hoops figure prominently in an exercise movement that includes first lady Michelle Obama and Shaquille O'Neal. A beginner may start with short bursts of hooping, but you can still calculate your calories burned by the minute.
Burn Up Those Calories
The American Council on Exercise sponsored a study on the calorie expenditure of hula hoop as exercise. The study found that it burned 210 calories in a 30-minute workout, or 7 calories per minute. While you might not be able to maintain a 30-minute hula hoop routine when you start out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that just 10 minutes of exercise repeated three times a day provides the minimum 30 minutes of physical activity. You can break your hula hooping into 10-minute sessions, burning 70 calories in each session, and gradually build up to 30- to 60-minute daily workouts to trim your waist and lose weight.