Besides being fun, belly dancing has several health benefits. Belly dancing was one of the first forms of exercise. Many people believe that belly dancing tones the body, both inside and out. Following are the top four benefits of belly dancing.
1. Belly Dancing Improves Fitness and Builds Muscle
Belly dancing is vigorous and will make you break a sweat. The fast movements of the hips and shoulders are enough to really get your heart pumping, offering tremendous cardiovascular benefits. When performed as exercise, belly dancing can be compared to any other aerobic workout.
Belly dancing is also a wonderful way to strengthen the major muscles of your body. When performed correctly, belly dancing can also stretch and release tension in the back. Because it is a low-impact form of exercise, belly dancing won’t jolt or jar your body.
2. Belly Dancing Reduces Stress
If you want to try a type of dance that helps to relax your mind as well as your body, try belly dancing. Belly dancing requires tremendous relaxation and concentration, as you must focus on isolating various parts of your body. Many people say that the melodious, flowing movements of belly dance help to calm and soothe the mind.
3. Belly Dancing Aids Weight Control and Improves Self Image
Belly dancing can have a positive impact on your weight, improving your self image. If performed regularly, belly dancing can actually encourage weight loss, as it burns calories as well as increases your metabolic rate.
Belly dancers come in a variety of body types and sizes. Belly dancing will make you more aware of your posture, grace, body language and facial expressions, all helping to improve your self image. If you attend a belly dancing class, you will probably see several different sizes of bodies, all just as beautiful as the others.
4. Belly Dancing Is an Internal Massage
Belly dancing can be very beneficial to the health of your internal organs. It is sometimes said that belly dancing was developed as a way to prepare the body for childbirth. Since belly dancing centers around controlling the muscles of the abdomen, it may make carrying and delivering a baby easier on your body. Also, many women notice that belly dancing helps to relieve menstrual cramping.
Written by: Treva L. Bedinghaus
Dallal, Tamalyn and Richard Harris. Belly Dancing for Fitness, Ulysses Press, 2004.