ACE Fitness, which is the American Council on Exercise and America’s authority on fitness, decided to take a closer look at hooping and see if it lived up to all of the claims that are being made about it. “There has been no scientific literature to support the fitness benefits of hooping,” said Jordan Holthusen, M.S., an exercise researcher with the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.” So in an effort to cut through all the hoopla ACE enlisted Holthusen and her colleagues to study our favorite past time for cardio and calorie-burning benefits. How did hooping fair? “Hooping compares pretty favorably with most other group classes, in terms of heart rate and calorie burn. In fact, exercisers can expect similar results from hooping as they’d get from boot-camp classes, step aerobics and cardio kickboxing—all of which meet fitness industry criteria for improving cardiovascular fitness.” The exact calorie count they came up with was that hooping burns approximately 210 calories per 30-minute session – which falls within ACE’s accepted guidelines for exercise that can contribute to weight management.
So after a lengthy detailed report that would be of great interest to analytical types and academics, ACE says the bottom line is: “Hooping is an excellent form of exercise. Before we did the study, I didn’t imagine the heart-rate averages would be so high,” says Holthusen. “I was really impressed by how intense of a workout you can get hooping and how many calories you can burn.” In addition to the hard data they uncovered, researchers also suggested that given the variety of movements in hooping that it should be considered a total-body workout that has the potential to improve your flexibility and balance while strengthening and toning the muscles of the back, abdomen, arms and legs. They also found that the rhythmic nature of hooping may be relaxing and almost meditative for some. Don’t you love when the research agrees with us!
They also noted that while a proper training study needs to be done to substantiate hooping’s potential long-term fitness benefits, Holthusen said one thing is certain: “Hooping is fun.” Full story: American Council on Exercise