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Hula-Hoop Might Help Shed Unwanted Pounds

FRIDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- The Hula-Hoop, a large ring that can be gyrated around the waist, gained intense popularity in the 1950s and now it seems to be re-emerging as a hot trend in weight loss, a new study has found.

"Hooping" expends the same amount of energy as walking 4 to 4.5 miles per hour -- enough to help a person firm up and slim down, according to a news release from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). And "it's becoming a popular form of choreographed group exercise," study author John Porcari, of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, said in the news release.

The study examined 16 women, ranging in age from 16 to 59, who regularly attended choreographed hooping classes. The researchers measured the women's oxygen consumption, heart rate and rate of physical exertion as they completed a 30-minute video-led hooping class.

The researchers set out "to determine the effect of hooping on physical fitness and whether or not the intensity falls within ACSM guidelines for improving cardiovascular fitness," Porcari said.

The study found that the average heart rate for the 30-minute class was 151 beats per minute, and the average caloric expenditure was equivalent to 210 calories for 30 minutes of hooping. The total energy cost, the researchers revealed, was enough to help people control their body weight.

The findings were to be presented this week at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting, held in conjunction with the World Congress on Exercise Is Medicine, in Denver. Experts note that research presented at meetings isn't subjected to the same type of scrutiny given to research published in peer-reviewed journals.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on physical activity and weight control.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American College of Sports Medicine, news release, June 1, 2011

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