There are many reasons and ways for women to make health improvements, including 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, fun and entertainment. However, the health benefits of belly dancing far outweigh the entertainment aspect.
Health Benefit #1 – Improves Muscle Tone
One health benefit of regular belly dancing is the toning of muscles throughout your body. 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.
Health Benefit #2 – 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.
Health Benefit #3 – 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.
Health Benefit #4 – 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.
Health Benefit #5 – Reduces Stress
As busy as many women are today, 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.
Health Benefit #6 – Increases Self Esteem
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.
Health Benefit #7 – 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.
Like anything else, becoming a belly dancer takes time and practice. You will find the effort to be well worth it, even as you are learning.