As bangs, rollerblading, and high-waisted mom jeans are making a comeback, consider bringing back another vintage trend to incorporate into your daily regimen: hula hooping. Sure, this activity is more on par with our recess breaks of school days past than it is of an adult workout, and for that reason it makes sense –– especially in an age where burning calories can get a bit competitive –– to have a little skepticism about hooping as a workout.
So, we ask: is it hula hooping intense enough to be a workout or is it merely child’s play?
Well, health experts have spoken, and hula hoops can in fact provide a fun alternative to meeting your fitness goals. The aerobic activity of spinning a hoop around your waist can burn up to 200 calories in 30 minutes (the movement of your body is actually similar to that of salsa dancing). Because it is easily accessible and requires little preparation, you can sneak in a quick half-hour workout in casual clothes in your living room before going out to dinner, instead of spending half of that time just driving to the gym.
The weight of the hula hoop also determines the type of workout. If you invest in a heavier hoop, you can get your cardio in and tone those core muscles at the same time (summer abs, anyone?). There are also other routines you could do beyond twirling it around the midsection that will strengthen your arms, shoulders, and more. Don’t forget to treat this workout as you would your typical weight-lifting workout: warm up and cool down with thorough stretches so your muscles won’t be too sore (because, trust us, they’ll already be sore) the next day.
If you’re looking for a more pleasant substitute for sweaty runs or boring lifting sessions this summer, now is the perfect time to get into hooping for some guaranteed progress and a fun time. The 90s are beckoning.