Hula hoop exercise set to become a craze

Sunday, November 7, 2010

LONDON - Spinning a weighted hula hoop around the waist is expected to become the latest exercise craze for people who prefer to stay home.

Hula hoops, popular with children from the 1950s to the 1980s, are now being marketed as an exercise tool - thanks in part to the hugely successful Wii Fit video game sold by Nintendo.

Nintendo encouraged players to spin hoops around their hips in time to an animated person on screen.

Now, Tesco - Britain’s biggest supermarket - is selling a weighted hula hoop, which it claims can burn off 200 calories in half an hour if spun continually by the user, the Telegraph reported.

The bright purple and blue hoop includes a weight that is aimed at helping the user to tone lower back and stomach muscles. The exercise hoop weighs 1.4 kg compared with a normal one which is just 10 ounces.

Zina Goode, a leisure manager at Tesco Direct, said: “Lounge fitness is a huge new trend. Houses and apartments are getting smaller and not everyone has space to have a room of the house devoted to gym equipment.”

“Gym memberships can be expensive but there’s no need to leave the house now. Weighted hula hoops are the next big thing and will certainly be snapped up this Christmas,” Goode added.

Hula hooping as exercise has taken off in the US, with actress Liv Tyler and Michelle Obama, the First Lady, both being fans of spinning plastic rings around their waist.

In Britain, an increasing number of gyms are offering hula hoop classes as an alternative to aerobics.

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