Belly Dance Your Way to Fitness – Melissa Hathaway
Dancing in all its forms is recognized as one of the best ways to keep fit. Not only is dancing a fun and social activity, but it is a very good form of exercise that can give you an aerobic workout and also work different muscle groups all over your body.
For women who are looking to start dancing or to experiment with a different style, then belly dancing is a must. Because it is a dance form that was developed specifically for the female body, many of its movements and steps are instinctual at some level, making it easier for many women to pick up some of the basic moves.
The importance of maintaining a reasonable level of fitness is well documented. Regular exercise, combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can help reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes. Keeping fit and healthy can also help to ensure that all aspects of your body continue to function properly in less obvious ways, from reducing the risk of developing a sexual dysfunction such as impotence, to helping to combat mental illnesses such as depression or stress. For women, belly dancing is an ideal way to keep a good level of fitness. It can be performed by women of all ages and levels of fitness, and can be as energetic or as low impact as you like. In addition, the movements involved provide a perfect workout for some of the body areas that women like to focus on when exercising, such as their backsides, legs and stomachs.
A perfect workout for new moms
Because belly dancing is focused on movements in the hips and belly, it provides an intense workout for a woman’s core muscles, including those in her back, stomach and pelvic floor. For this reason, belly dancing can be an ideal form of exercise for new moms, who are constantly being reminded by their health care providers of the importance of exercising their pelvic floor muscles after giving birth. However, as all new moms know, it is not always easy to remember to do this as often as they should. Attending a belly dancing class will ensure that these muscles get the workout they need, without consciously needing to think about it throughout the day.
As well as exercising key muscles, belly dancing can also offer new moms a much needed confidence boost. For some women, the first few months after pregnancy and birth can be a depressing time. Lack of sleep and no time to themselves can take their toll, and then there is the worry about whether their bodies will ever return to their pre-pregnancy state. Attending a belly dancing class can provide new moms with some much needed ‘me time’, and the chance to indulge in some adult company. The exercise will help their bodies to recover much quicker than might have been anticipated, and the inherently sensual nature of belly dancing will help them to feel like a woman again instead of just a mom.
A strengthening exercise
As well as helping to strengthen a woman’s core muscles, belly dancing is also a good way of helping to prevent the development of osteoporosis – a condition that can lead to fragile and brittle bones and increase the risk of a fracture in the event of a fall. Although osteoporosis can occur in both sexes, it is more usually associated with women, and is unfortunately is a relatively common condition, with an estimated 10 million people in American thought to be suffering from the disease.
One of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis is to keep fit and active as this helps to maintain bone mass. Weight-bearing activities such as dancing are recognized as being a highly effective exercise for strengthening bones, and because belly dancing is much lower impact than other forms of dance, it doesn’t place additional stress on bones and joints.
Belly dancing can also be beneficial for people who already suffer from osteoporosis, because by strengthening the inner core they can improve their balance and reduce the risk of falling and suffering a fracture.
Try belly dancing today
Many people may feel self-conscious at the idea of trying belly dancing, but there is no need. Belly dancing is about appreciating and celebrating the female form in all its shapes and sizes, and rather than being an embarrassing experience, most women find it actually increases their self-confidence and self-esteem.
So if you want to try a style of dance that is perfectly designed for the female body, and have a fun and effective workout at the same time, then start belly dancing today and dance your way to a healthier and happier you.