Looking for a fun exercise? Get in the hoop

The hula hoop can help you build core muscles and shed extra pounds. Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Remember the euphoria from hula hooping as a kid? Turns out it's not just child's play but an actual intense workout -- one in which you can burn up to 210 calories during a 30-minute period. That's an average of seven calories per minute, according to a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise. No wonder the hula hoop, which was patented on this day in 1963, has made its way back into gyms across the country.

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