Gaiam’s Dance Hoop Workout kit

The hula hoop that baby boomers used in the 1950s to “shake their booties” has reemerged as an innovative new workout tool.

The Dance Hoop Workout kit from eco-conscious Gaiam includes an adjustable, weighted hula hoop designed specifically for adults, as well as a 40-minute, total-body workout DVD set with an energizing soundtrack. The hoop is more substantial than the one you may have enjoyed as a kid, which makes it easier to keep in motion, while challenging your muscles.

Incorporating hula-hooping, rhythmic dance and yoga moves to trim and tone your waistline, arms, glutes and thighs, the Dance Hoop Workout kit boosts your heart rate and increases strength and flexibility. Step-by-step instructions and low-impact moves make the kit an ideal option for individuals at all fitness levels.

Debi Pillarella, the American Council on Exercise Fitness’ 2004 Director of the Year, has predicted that hula hoop workouts will become increasingly popular. “It adds an element of play and fun to core stability work,” she noted in an article on WebMD.

According to Gaiam, there is evidence that children in ancient Rome used a ring made of grapevines as a primitive hula hoop. The ancient Greeks, creators of the Olympic Games, also used something resembling a hula hoop as a fitness tool.

Inventor Betty Hoops drew upon her background as a Reiki practitioner, yoga instructor and massage therapist to create the Dance Hoop Workout method, which she has taught since 1998.

“It’s a whole-body experience, very similar to yoga,” she says. “It puts people back into their bodies on a conscious level and makes them feel alive again. It can stimulate that mind-body connection.”

“We’re always looking for new ways to help people to get healthy and enjoy themselves,” adds Susan Haney, Gaiam’s vice president of retail marketing. “We developed the Dance Hoop Workout kit with Betty Hoops to give people another creative way to get in shape and maintain the mind-body connection Gaiam is known for promoting.”

The Dance Hoop Workout kit retails for $40, but it’s on sale now for $24.99.