Bellydancing into shape

Bellydancing originated in the Middle East and was often used for ceremonial and cultural performances. Since the end of 18th century, bellydancing has spread to the West. Bellydancing is increasingly popular and now taught all over the world. In recent times bellydancing is primarily used for artistic expression, entertainment, and fitness. The health benefits of bellydancing are numerous and go beyond the physical body.

Burn Fat and Calories
Bellydancing is an aerobic activity that is a total body workout. As your body builds muscle tone, you’ll be burning fat and calories. One average, one hour of moderate-intensity bellydancing will cause you to shed 300 calories. Add energetic moves such as shimmies to burn even more.

Muscle Tone
By bellydancing regularly your muscles are subjected to gentle, repetitive motions that make them become toned and defined. Bellydancing requires the use of muscles all over—arm motions or dancing with the veil improve upper body strength, zills strengthen the fingers, and hip movements build muscles in the legs and back.

Muscles surrounded the hip are strengthened by movements such as hip drops and figure eights, which improves suppleness in the body. Many of the movements in bellydancing require isolation of certain muscles, creating more flexibility in the torso. Flexibility means less injuries and easier movement in everyday life.

Better Posture
The slow, sinewy movements in bellydancing help create a strong core. A strong core means that you’ll have more strength in general and less back issues. This strong core results in postural alignment and mobility, and helps in the prevention of osteoporosis when you get older. Full-body undulation moves lengthens and strengthens the spinal and abdominal muscles.

Self Esteem
As you continue bellydancing, you will gain a higher self-image. The artistic and feminine movements in bellydancing lead to movements of the body becoming more graceful and poised. Bellydancing makes you feel more comfortable in your body. Bellydancing is a low-impact exercise, making it acceptable for all ages and body types. And like anything else, learning a new skill makes you feel good about yourself and your ability.

Feel Better
Bellydance cultivates the mind, body, and spirit, sparking feelings of creative and sensual expression. Dancing is a good outlet to reduce destructive stress that can wreck the body. Bellydancing is a way to freedom after a busy day at work or with your children.

Additional Benefits
After bellydancing you’ll experience more controlled and coordinated movement, more energy and faster reflexes. Bellydance is even known to aid in birthing and menstruation.

With all that said, give bellydancing a shot if you haven’t already. Find a bellydancing teacher locally who offers classes or find some video lessons online!