Hula hoops can be a fun way to get great exercise indoors!

It's true ...

Using your hips to spin the hoop is not only a super effective (and super fun!) abdominal exercise, but it's also a great overall cardio workout. In fact, just a half-hour of hula-hooping can burn up to 200 calories — and is way more fun than walking on a treadmill!

You can get a plenty-good workout using the simple hula hoops sold for under $10 at the local toy store — but if you try it and love it, you may be interested in trading up for weighted hoops. Larger than the ones designed for kids, these two- to four-pound hoops give you a workout you can really whoop it up about!

No matter what type of hoop you're using, though, hooping is a blast! Get your friends together and have a contest to see who can keep the hoop going the longest, or put on some music and try to hoop to the rhythm. As you get better at hooping, try moving your arms around to really get your heart pumping.

So just keep trying!

Getting the hang of hooping — and keeping it going long enough for a real workout — takes practice and patience. Just have fun with it, keep laughing and you'll get it!​