Like most women, I enjoy switching up my workout routines to keep my body on its toes (so to speak). I hope this will inspire someone out there to step out of their comfort zone and try a new form of exercise.
A couple of years ago I was looking for a new way to change up my workout routine, when a friend of mine suggested belly dance. At first I was a little skeptical (actually a lot skeptical), mainly due to the fact that I have absolutely no dance experience. My friend loaned me a belly dance workout video (it was The Goddess Workout – Intro to Bellydance with Dolphina), and I agreed to give it a try in the privacy of my own home. I tried it, loved it from my very first workout, and bought my own DVD the very next day. There are actually four different training routines included in the video I got (Intro to Bellydance, Warrior, Veils, and Finger Cymbals). There is no special equipment needed for this workout (unless of course you want to work with veils and/or finger cymbals).
Belly dance works out so many different muscles, it’s really a one-stop-shop workout. It tones arms, legs, back, and abs. I speak from personal experience when I tell you it massages away back pain and cramps, and it’s a great way to relax your muscles and unwind your mind with deep-breathing. Recently I discovered a new belly dance video (The Goddess Workout – Cardio Bellydance with Dolphina), which is an amazing core workout (the first time you watch it don’t be surprised if you keep asking yourself how Dolphina moves like that). Once you get into it and get over your self-consciousness, it’s actually a lot of fun!
Unlike some forms of dance (such as ballet, which I think is grace and beauty personified, but unfortunately mangles the feet and wreaks havoc on the body’s skeletal system), belly dance is low-to-no-impact, easy on the joints, and comprised of movements that come naturally to the body. Belly dance is actually used as preparation for childbirth, since it strengthens the muscles used during childbirth. For more information on belly dance, see here, here, or here.
If you’re looking for a new and exciting workout (or if you can’t afford a masseuse or you’re just sick of paying for Midol), you might want to give belly dance a try! Like Dolphina says, “Bellydance is not just for the belly!”