The Arabic belly dance is a traditional dance originating in the Middle East. Though many people in western culture equate belly dance with a seductive style of dance, belly dancing actually began as a folk dance used to celebrate and enjoy time together. Belly dance can be used today for enjoyment and can also be used to increase overall health.
Belly Dance as Exercise
Arabic belly dancing is a great way to get exercise. Because it is low impact, it does not cause stress to the joints as some forms of exercise can. This allows just about anyone to participate in belly dancing, no matter what age or shape they are in. The soft and graceful movements work with a woman’s body rather than against it. The movements are natural and allow a woman to enjoy belly dancing at any age.
Health Benefits of Belly Dancing
There are many health benefits that come from regular belly dancing. Most people use exercise to lose weight, and belly dancing can also be used for weight loss. And imagine the Arabic belly dance fat burning capacity. Depending on the style and intensity of the dancing, belly dancing can burn up to 300 calories per hour. And although weight loss is not important for everyone, for those looking to lose weight, belly dancing can help.
Another benefit of belly dancing is that it can help lower stress levels. Like Tai Chi, belly dancing uses flowing and repetitive movements that relax the body and mind. Belly dancing can be almost like a form of meditation and can help clear the mind.
For those suffering from back pain or joint pain, belly dancing can help. Because belly dancing incorporates movements that are gentle and repetitive, the muscles are stretched and joints receive gentle movement. Belly dancing gives the hips and lower back a full range of movement. This can help relieve back and hip pain, improve posture, and counteract disk pressure from a sedentary lifestyle.
There are many other benefits to belly dance, including an increase in bone density. Belly dancing is considered a weight bearing exercise, which means it can help increase bone density when done regularly. Belly dancing can also aid a woman in preparing for childbirth, as the movements done during belly dancing strengthen the muscles needed during childbirth.
There are definite health benefits and advantages to taking part in belly dancing. While the health benefits are only a side benefit for those looking to enjoy the art form of Arabic belly dancing, it is a side benefit that increases enjoyment of belly dancing and can increase a person’s general health.