The Hula Hoop turns 50

Consumer Reports News: June 20, 2008 03:10 PM

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the original Hula Hoop, a toy near and dear to the hearts—and hips—of both children and adults.

In recent years, the popular, hip-shakin' activity has evolved into a creative form of aerobic exercise, and is now one of the activities on Nintendo's Wii Fit. Exercising with fitness toys such as the weighted hula hoop, jump rope, or stablity ball is a good way to spice up your workout routine.

Worried you can't hoop with the best of 'em? Well, we consulted with experts on a heavier hula hoop called the Heavy Hoop, a foam-padded steel version of the plastic hula hoop used for workouts. The experts said anyone who can keep a regular hula hoop up should be able to whirl a Heavy Hoop too, and the extra weight may actually make it easier because of greater resistance between the hoop and the body. The advanced hoop workout may also burn more calories than would high-impact aerobics for people who are fit.

Read more on how to stay active and fit—the 10 extra health perks of working out.

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