By: Health Local Staff May 25, 2012
  Article
Hula fitness

If you’re looking for an intense, full-body workout that is as fun as it is beneficial, you’ll want to give hula fitness a try.

When you hear the word hula, do you automatically think of a Hawaiian vacation with dancing? You’d be on the right track, but hula fitness is so much more than “just dancing!”

What is hula?
Hula is a dance done in Hawaii that is traditional among the Native Hawaiian people. It has a long, rich history and has become a tourist favorite when traveling to the area. But hula is also very good for getting in shape.

Enter hula fitness

Hula fitness is led by hula instructors and gives every student a chance to get into great shape. You don’t have to wear the grass skirts — in fact, you don’t even have to wear shoes to participate. Comfortable clothing is all that’s required.

Hula has six basic moves that can be put together in hundreds of ways, and it has many benefits. In fact, it is so beneficial to the body, and so easy to participate in, that it is gaining popularity all over North America. More and more gyms are adding hula fitness classes to their repertoire.

Benefits of Hula Fitness

There are several benefits to hula fitness that can be enjoyed by people of varying age groups.

  • Hula improves balance and coordination. Training your body to move in several different directions all at the same time, while moving fluidly is a major challenge that hula fitness provides. Learning to do this helps increase your balance as well as your coordination. You become more graceful with each lesson.
  • Hula is a fun way to get in shape. Hula is about dance to great music with a group. If you’re tired of doing the same old cardio workouts followed by strength training to get fit, then hula fitness might be just what you're looking for.
  • Hula combines strength and cardiovascular workouts. The most common comment people make after a hula fitness session is how sore their muscles are the next day — especially in the arms and legs. This strength training is provided by some of the dance moves. Moving constantly to fast and slow tempos elevates the heart rate, and, depending on which dances you do, you can burn anywhere from 119 - 238 calories in just 30 minutes.
  • Hula builds muscles all over the body — lengthening and leaning up from arms to feet.
  • Hula has the same benefits as power walking. These workouts build bone mass in addition to the above-mentioned strength and cardio benefits — very important for menopausal women.
  • Hula is high-intensity and low-impact. The intense dance moves add to the impact of the workout, without any great impact on your joints. You can set the intensity of each of your workouts by adjusting how quickly you move, and ease off whenever you need to. The dance moves are low-impact, which is great for sensitive joints.

If you’re looking for an intense, full-body workout that is as fun as it is beneficial, you’ll want to give hula fitness a try, no matter what your age.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.