Belly Dance Health Benefits:
Yes, believe me, there are tremendous health benefits of belly dancing. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be performing on stage this week, I would have said, “Will I learn to juggle?” I never in a million years would have believed that I would be getting up in front of people to …… belly dance.
Please don’t picture me in tight clothes and wrapped around a pole. Trust me – you don’t want to do that. Banish the sexy images from your mind. Instead, think of your grandmother and your daughter dancing together and waving brightly colored veils around. There. You have the picture.
I originally took up belly dancing on a dare. I had a back injury, and was in quite a bit of pain, and my friend said that learning to move my hips in an agile manner would help.
She was right. Belly dancing has strengthened my core muscles and has alleviated much of my back pain. My hip drops, figure eights, circles, and shimmies have utilized muscles that my back didn’t even know it had.
Belly Dancing Is Good For Entire Body:
But belly dancing is not limited to back muscles. After my first class, I felt like I’d bench-pressed a Peterbilt. The veil work has done wonders for my arms and shoulders. I didn’t realize I was using my arms that much, until the next morning.
And belly dancing is a weight-bearing exercise, so it’s even good for your bones. It also improves flexibility of your entire body, not just your belly! It is also believed to massage your internal organs and to help with digestion. (I know, I’m starting to make it sound like the miracle dance. Maybe it is?)
Belly Dancing Helps In Weight Loss:
Speaking of miracles, I’ve also lost weight since I started belly dancing. I’ve read that belly dancing can burn up to 300 calories per hour, but I am almost certain that I am burning more than that! I’ve checked my pulse, and believe me, this is cardiovascular exercise from the get-go! My dance teacher instructed us to practice for at least an hour at least six days a week. I thought she was nuts, but now, if I skip a day, I really miss it.
Belly Dancing Is a Stress Buster:
Belly dancing is an excellent way to burn off some stress. Just getting in touch with my femininity, the roots which make me strong, helps me to have a healthier self-esteem, even when no one is watching, even when I can’t do the snake arms correctly. Mentally, I just feel better. (Plus, I get to wear crazy costumes that I wouldn’t be able to in real life.)
And if I can do it, anyone can. I was too busy, too uncoordinated, too heavy, and too unwilling, and yet here I am, ready to step out on stage in a few days. I’ve belly danced with petite elderly women and angry teenagers. I’ve belly danced with hippies and republicans. This is something that all women can do. I’ve even belly danced with my son. (He’s only one – never tell him!)
How About Sharing Your Story?
So, will you share your story with me? Have you ever tried belly dancing? If not, have I convinced you?
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