Wham-O can't claim to be the inventor of the Hula Hoop. That right belongs to the Egyptians who shaped grape vines into circles. Children rolled them, tossed them, and swung them around their hips. The Greeks used them to lose weight. The British blamed back problems and heart attacks on hula hooping in the 1400's. The Japanese banned them comparing them to the improper Elvis's hip shaking. And Russia thought they were "the emptiness of American culture."
But what defined the popularity of the phenomenon? The 50's. Australian businessman Alex Tolmer started selling plastic hoops at his department store, Toltoys, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica. Wham-O bought the rights, trademarked the name and sold 20 million hoops in six months- for $1.98 in 1958. Thanks to cheap plastic and Wal Mart, you can still buy them for that price. Or you can spend a couple of dollars extra for a higher quality, sturdier hoop.
The Hula Hoop is making a comeback since it's extreme popularity in the 50's. It's become a fun cardio exercise as well as a way to tone muscles. Hooping groups are forming everywhere across the United States. I hate to exercise so I try to find things that intrest me. I love my dance DVD's and my stability ball. Now I love my Hula Hoop.
Buying one has not only helped me, it's helping my 12 and 15 year old daughter's as well. After telling Kelly, the older one, that I'd hooped for 10 minutes without dropping she issued a challenge. She wanted to see which of us could hoop longer. She beat me by two and a half minutes but only because I had to put my younger two to bed- after one hour of hooping. Yeah, that's right- one hour. After doing this research I discovered 600 calories can be burned in an hour. WOW! I'm sure it requires much more physical exerction than I did but it's very promising!
I'm looking forward to another fabulous adventure of toning and weight loss- but tons of fun. Care to go hooping with me?
The History of the Hula Hoop
A new fitness craze- Hula Hooping?