08/11/2010 10:32 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Are Hula Hoops The Next Big Exercise Craze?

Hula hooping is great exercise Weighted hula hoops are set to be big this Christmas. Photo: Flickr, istolethetv

If you had a hula hoop when you were a kid you'll no doubt remember what great fun they are to play with. And now, thanks to the success of the hoop game in Nintendo Wii Fit, the humble hula is set for a comeback. Even Tesco is stocking weighted hoops that claim to burn off calories at a rate of 200 per hour.

Having delighted children from the 1950s to the 1980s, weighted hoops started to gain popularity in US gyms several years ago when fitness experts devised special hoop twirling workouts that promised to get you in shape fast. But the workouts never really caught on here at the time.

However, if Tesco has anything to do with it, we could all be getting in on the hip-gyrating action soon, with the store's weighted hoops expected to be a big seller this Christmas.

Just don't be tempted into buying a kiddie's plastic hoop instead, as these only weigh around 0.28kg (10oz). Weighted hoops, on the other hand, come in at around 1.36kg (3lb) and are designed to help tone your hips and your stomach muscles.

And if you don't fancy hooping at home, an increasing number of gyms are adding hula hoop classes to their aerobics timetables too.

Experts claim if you have fun while you exercise it can help reduce your risk of developing depression. So at the very least having a go at hula hooping could keep your mood up this winter.

Does hula hooping sound like a fun way to get fit - or is it just another desperate attempt to get us off our sofas?

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