Okay, it's not the same as running six miles, but yes, belly dancing, along with most other forms of dance, can be a very effective part of an overall fitness plan. Belly dancing originated in ancient Middle Eastern cultures as a way for women to prepare for pregnancy and birth. You might find a belly dancing class at your local YMCA or health club. Belly dancing includes basic movements such as hip shimmies and hip rotations, serpentine arms, snakelike head movements and abdominal rotations. These moves will work your upper and lower body, and if you are moving continuously during a class, you will get a decent aerobic workout, burning up to 300 calories per hour. Belly dancing is a good non-impact, weight-bearing exercise, putting minimal stress on the knees, shins, and feet, making it perfect for beginning exercisers or those recovering from an injury. So shimmy those hips. One other thing that belly dancing is - need I spell it out? It's sexy!
Julie, I couldn't agree more.
I took belly dancing for a year, and not only was I the fittest I'd been in a while, but it was so much fun to do and a true celebration of femininity. Plus, I love all the outfits, veils and sparkly things. Hey, if you're going to get fit, you should enjoy the journey as well as the destination.
I took my classes at WorldDance Fitness in San Anselmo, California. The teachers are great - very supportive. If you live in the Bay Arae, I truly recommend it.