Remember the days when exercise wasn’t a chore?

As children, running, jumping and skipping rope was the best part of the day, and as adults finding time for cardiovascular fun can seem impossible.

This is the inspiration behind the success of the newest celebrity fitness craze out of Los Angeles, Hoopnotica, an exercise program that is based on the use of a hoop, almost the same as the hula hoop from days gone by, just made for grown-ups.

Though widely used as a fitness tool, Hoopnotica can also be enjoyed for meditative and playful seduction purposes.

Gabriella Redding, CEO of Hoopnotica, is taking part of the Canadian launch of Hoopnotica products, which include hoops, DVDs and CDs.

“We created the DVDs because we didn’t have enough teachers for all the classes,” said Redding. “It grew so quickly.”

The program itself is simple. You need a hoop and a DVD to help you learn the moves to keep the hoop on motion around your waist. As the moves become easier, you add your arms and legs into the movements so the hoop is continuously moving, toning different parts of your body. As you become more advanced, the dance aspect of the movements is incorporated, keeping the hoop movements challenging and interesting.

Something that seems as effortless as keeping a hoop moving on your torso is surprisingly vigourous. Redding said she lost her baby weight from two pregnancies by just watching her diet and using her hoop for exercise.

“You can burn 250 to 300 calories per hour just from your torso movement,” said Redding. “The dance factor adds extra calorie burn.”

Redding said the popularity of Hoopnotica can be found in that it’s simple, fun and low impact. There’s no jumping or joint strain during any of the activity, yet it can burn as many calories as running.

“I’ve heard stories from people who have used hoops after a C-section and knee injuries,” said Redding. “It’s low to no-impact.”

Other physical benefits include improved balance and co-ordination, increased flexibility and stronger core strength.

The hoops themselves aren’t like the ones you find in a toy store — they are made for adults, are heavier and can come apart for travel. The starter kit offered on the Canadian Shopping Channel is $54.99 plus shipping and handling. This includes the travel hoop, a carrying strap and a DVD sampler. (Visit hoopnotica.com for more information on purchasing).

Redding says the Hoopnotica system is economical because there is no commitment for ongoing fees.

“You just get one hoop – it’s not a commitment like the gym.”