- With Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including subspecialty certification in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
He has been on the staff of Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and an avid hiker, cyclist and climber. He approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and he has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for his contribution to the Council.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has provided medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a website guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to the "Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody" book, and he has presented lectures throughout the world on health, fitness and sports medicine topics. His teaching expertise has been recognized by his election to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame at Mayo Clinic.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."
Fitness basics (5)
- Heart rate: What's normal?
- Body fat analyzers: How accurate are they?
- Exercise and illness: Work out with a cold?
- see all in Fitness basics
Stretching and flexibility (1)
- What is hot yoga?
Aerobic exercise (12)
- Kids and exercise: How much activity do they need?
- Ankle weights for fitness walkers: Good idea?
- Walking poles: Good for brisk walking?
- see all in Aerobic exercise
Strength training (9)
- Weight training: Free weights vs. machine weights
- Weightlifting belt: Do I need one?
- Strength training sets: How many for best results?
- see all in Strength training
Sports nutrition (2)
- Brominated vegetable oil: Why is BVO in my drink?
- Energy drinks: Do they really boost energy?
Weighted hula hoops: Hoopla or good exercise?
Do weighted hula hoops provide a good workout, or are they just a gimmick?
from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Weighted hula hoops can be a good addition to your exercise program, especially if you're able to hula hoop for at least 10 minutes at a time. In fact, any type of hula hooping, with a weighted hula hoop or a regular hula hoop, can help you meet your exercise goals.
Weighted hula hoops are bigger and heavier than traditional hula hoops. You can use a weighted hula hoop as part of an overall fitness program, to add variety to your workouts, or simply as a fun way to get more active. Keep in mind that for most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity.
If you try a weighted hula hoop, use a hula hoop that's the right size for you. The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and chest when it's resting vertically on the ground. The weight of the hoop is up to you. The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going. But the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep going, which means you may be able to do it for a longer period of time. You can experiment with different hoops to see which kind and size you prefer. Weighted hula hoops are available at many sporting goods stores and online retailers, and even at some fitness clubs.
Check with your doctor before using any kind of hula hoop if you have medical concerns, especially a history of back problems. And as with any physical activity, stop hula hooping and consult your doctor if you develop pain or other symptoms.Next question
Elliptical machines: Better than treadmills?
- Cluff T, et al. Kinetics of hula hooping: An inverse dynamics analysis. Human Movement Science. 2008;27:622.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 14, 2011.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf. Accessed June 14, 2011.