Is belly dancing the new Pilates? 5 benefits to be gained from this feminine exercise
Belly dancing has a rich history as a woman’s art, making it the perfect exercise for women who are bored with more traditional exercises like yoga and pilates. Before you sign up for a belly dancing class at your local dance school, let’s take a look at what belly dancing is.
What is belly dancing?
Although historians believe the practice is much older, belly dancing was introduced to the western world in the 1830s when Europeans were exposed to traveling dancers from Egypt known as the ghawazee troupe. Belly dancing has Egyptian roots, but is best known as a Middle Eastern dance that has been incorporated into popular forms of Western dance. Popular belly dance moves include the shimmy, ripples, and hip thrusts.
Many of the moves can be seen as sensual, but belly dancing is so much more than what you’ve seen in the movies. Jensuya, American belly dancer said belly dancing is “the art of putting the music on your body, of dancing with movements that represent both the sound and the feeling of the music in a particular way, in a particular aesthetic”. The belly dancer becomes “the last member of the group, the visual member of the group”.
Here are five awesome benefits of belly dancing and other alternatives to yoga and pilates if you feel the need to change up your fitness routine.
1. Cardio and muscle growth
We all know cardio is important, but you don’t need to use an elliptical trainer for an hour to get a good cardio workout. Belly dancing is a fun way to get your heart rate up for a good cardio workout (it can burn 400 calories per hour), and it’s also great for tone your abdominal muscles.
2. It improves your posture
Since belly dancing is a great core workout, one of its many benefits is improved posture. It also strengthens your “the back, the knees and the pelvis”, which also helps improve posture. Even if you are not interested in taking a belly dancing class, you can find free YouTube videos with simple belly dance tutorials to improve your posture.
3. It boosts your confidence
However all types of exercises can increase your self-confidence and self-esteem, belly dancing has a way of making you feel sexier. The exercise is inherently feminine and encourages you to embrace your natural sensuality. Harnessing this side of your femininity will naturally make you more confident and sexier, all while getting a good workout.
4. It May Help With Labor And PMS Symptoms
Historians believe belly dancing was originally created as an exercise for pregnant women to prepare for labor, and it is still true today. Taking a belly dancing class can be a great way to prepare for labor during pregnancy (just be sure to ask your doctor first), but you can also benefit from belly dancing lessons if you don’t. you are not pregnant for reduce menstrual cramps.
Historians believe that belly dancing was created as an exercise for pregnant women to prepare for labor.
5. It can help with digestion
You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of gut health lately, and the good news is that you can improve your digestion through exercise. Belly dancing is the perfect workout to help with digestion, as you work the the muscles that work with your digestive system. Who said that improving your digestive health and having fun were incompatible?
Alternatives similar to belly dancing
While belly dancing is a great alternative to exercises like yoga and pilates, there are plenty of other female exercise alternatives you can try. Zumba classes are a fun way to socialize and burn calories. Latin dance classes can help you embrace your sensuality through dances like salsa and rumba. And don’t rule out some of your favorite childhood activities, like ballet or tap dancing. You can probably find an adult class at your local dance school or community center.
Belly dancing is so much more than a sexy type of dance you see in movies – it’s a great and fun way to burn calories and work your heart out. If you’ve ever wanted to try belly dancing, why not find a local class and sign up?
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