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Belly Dance

Health Benefits of Belly Dancing

Belly dance is a form of dance that many are familiar with but few understand the effects it has on the human body. The graceful hip drops, rolls, and pivots of this dance form, utilize muscle groups in the abdomen, pelvis, trunk, spine, and neck, working with the body instead of against it, unlike ballet which can potentially alter and deform the skeleton, or other dance forms that work against rather than with the body's physical inclinations. Belly dancing is based on movements that come naturally to the female form. There is a wealth of health benefits awaiting those who practice belly dancing.

There are many reasons and ways for women to make health improvements, with belly dancing. Belly dancing is a form of movement that has been utilized in ceremonial and cultural performances for over a hundred years. There are many forms of belly dancing and many phrases or names for it as well, depending on the culture. In America, belly dancing is primarily used as a form of exercise.

Helps in weight loss:

Belly dancing can burn up to 300-400 calories per hour. This estimate may vary, of course, depending on the intensity of your dancing. Combined with a healthy diet that involves sensible eating, belly dancing can without a doubt be part of a sound weight loss program. Even though many dance classes take place only once or twice a week. Your entire body will feel the benefits as the exercise works large muscle groups and the dance enhances strength and coordination of small muscle groups in the trunk, hips, and arms. Many exercise physiologists recommend doing such a routine to increase energy and total body wellbeing.

Improves Muscle Tone:

Belly-dancers have to hold their arms up for long periods of time and it actually takes quite a lot of strength to perform arm movements slowly and gracefully incorporating the hand and wrist movements. Regular and consistent belly dancing requires the use of many leg muscles, some arm movements and every muscle in between. This means improved over-all muscle tone.

Develops a Stronger Core:

The type of movement that occurs with belly dancing automatically creates a strong core. The development of a strong core system means fewer back problems and a greater over-all strength. This will improve your mobility and posture as you age.

Greater Flexibility:

Another benefit to belly dancing, particularly as the body ages, is the increased flexibility that naturally occurs. Increasing your body's flexibility means fewer injuries in general and easier movement for other daily activities.

Burn Fat and Calories:

Belly dancing is a series of movements, using the arms, legs and core muscle systems. It is also considered an aerobic activity. This combination means your body is burning more calories and shedding fat as it builds muscle tone. When you participate in belly dancing classes or practice on a regular basis the result can be weight loss. Achieving a healthy weight and doing an aerobic activity regularly is beneficial to your long term heart health as well.

Reduces Stress:

As many corporate men and women today, suffer from the spine back related issues due to their continuous sitting hours in office together having a consistent outlet for stress reduction is a necessity, not a luxury. The occurrence of daily stress can wreak havoc on your body over time and belly dancing can help reduce that destructive stress. Many women utilize belly dancing as an outlet and see it as a form of self care. These movements with shoulder movements, exercise the back muscles and spinal cord and exercise the muscles evenly. Strong back muscles prevent back injuries and promote good posture.

Increased Joy:

As you develop more confidence and your body becomes stronger, you will start to experience the joy of belly dancing. An increase in the feeling of joy is almost akin to a side effect, but a very positive side effect. When you have more joy in your life, you are more equipped to handle the stress that often comes up.

Aiding digestion:

It's true! Exercising the abdominal area, not just by rolling the belly but also by swaying the torso, helps move food along the digestive system. Any form of exercise will have this effect to some degree but belly dancing is considered especially good for this purpose.

A less often thought about benefit of belly dancing is the increase in self esteem that will happen as you gain more confidence and become more agile. Belly dancing incorporates many movements that come naturally to women. As you learn the graceful and flowing movements of belly dance you naturally develop a more positive presence and feel good about yourself and your ability.

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