Hula hooping

If ever there was a league table for fun ways to get fit, hula hooping would be right at the top!

Whether it’s the long-forgotten playtime of your childhood days, or a favourite activity of your children’s right now, hooping is a fantastic way to work up a sweat with a smile.

And with hundreds of videos on YouTube and elsewhere online, it’s something you can do whenever you want at home, without taking up too much space.

When you first start out, make sure you buy an adult hoop rather than a children’s one. Larger, weighted hoops are slower and easier to keep momentum when spinning, so are great for beginners – and the weight will add extra resistance too, making it a more effective workout. Make sure the hoop reaches at least your belly button when it’s stood on the floor, so you have a big enough turning circle when hooping.

If you want to hoop in the company of others, there are plenty of classes across the country, with different variations such as Powerhoop classes that incorporate squats, lunges, walking and arm exercises as well as hooping around your waist.

Why is it good for me?

It may come as a surprise, but hooping can be a really effective all-body workout.

It’s a low impact exercise, so it puts minimal pressure and impact on your joints and is a great exercise for developing a strong core, which is important for stability and spinal strength.

Incorporating arm movements, lunges, squats and walking into your hooping will not only build strength but is fantastic for enhancing coordination skills across the whole of your body and brain. It’s like the fitness version of patting your head and rubbing your tummy!

Add to that the fun factor and social element if you choose to go to a class, you’ll turn your workouts into playtime once again.

How much does it cost?

Weighted hoops typically cost between £9-£20, but you can then practice whenever you want at home.

Class costs vary, but will have hoops you can borrow for the duration.

What equipment do I need?

Just a hoop – and that’s only if you want to practice at home rather than in a class where you can borrow one!