Who needs a spin class when you can grab a 1950s era toy and feel the burn. The hula hoop is making its triumphant return in gyms nationwide as both a cardio and meditative workout. Meditative. Really? It’s a plastic toy. It’s hard to imagine getting some zen-inspired insight on your day.

The hula hoop has actually been around since ancient Greece, who fashioned a similar tool to exercise the hip. This is Sparta? Nope, this is hooping. I wonder if the Hot Gates had any lying around?

Hoop activists – yeah, it’s a thing – have put their own spin on the device. It requires proper technique and balance. A U.K. reality show contestant could keep 133 hoops going simultaneously. Resume builder baby. Other activities? I hoop…. A lot.

If you spin in both directions, you can tone your entire body from head to toe. I don’t know, we may see peak hoop when Dr. Oz starts promoting them. Oprah could too. A very cheap favorite thing.

Classes in hooping revolve around elements of yoga, and attract mostly women between the ages of 25 and 60. The hula hoop also has the benefit of you having an instant goofy smile while doing it. Has anyone walked out of a WOD crossfit workout smiling? More like the kiss of death.

And get this, hooping burns some serious calories. Been ransacking a Starbucks? An hour of hooping can burn up to 600 calories an hour.

The meditation aspect from hooping comes from moves similar to yoga and Chi-gong, the Chinese system of breathing and exercise.

So, those looking for something that’s easy to get into and a lot of fun, hula hooping looks to be an easy answer. The outdoor classes also get you outside and into the fresh air. A win-win for all involved.


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