Muscle toning: Of course, the abdominal and torso muscles are used and toned during belly dancing, but the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes get a workout, too. Why? Because those muscles are used repetitively as you hold yourself steady, perform hip movements and dance across the floor. However, belly dancing is easy on the knees and ankles, making it a virtually non-impact exercise. Likewise, belly dancing helps to exercise the back muscles evenly and also helps to tone the arms, since belly dancers must hold their arms up for long periods of time, perform circles, lifts or rippling arm motions.
Improved posture: Nearly every torso movement—which is almost continual during belly dancing—requires flexibility and high functionality of the spine. Working the muscles in the torso, hips, those deep in the lower back and other areas involved with belly dancing help support better posture. Belly dancing can also relieve back stress, soothing the nearly constant spinal disc compression that can happen as a result of sitting too much or having a sedentary lifestyle.
De-stressing: Belly dancing can help you “let it go” and relax while you perform the stress-relieving, repetitive movements of the dance and concentrate on dance movements and form. Stress can cause the body to tense up, leading to muscle contractions or spasms, which can also decrease blood flow and induce lactic acid buildup. Belly-dancing can help you de-stress.
Belly dancing is also a weight-bearing exercise, which can help to strengthen bones as well as improve balance and increase poise. Another benefit is that it is a great calorie burner, burning up to 300 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of the workout. When combined with a healthy diet, it could also help support a healthy weight.
What are you waiting for? Try belly dancing!
In order to avoid risk of injury, please seek advice directly from your physician, especially if you have existing medical issues, before beginning any exercise or nutritional program. Also, be sure to stretch after exercise to avoid muscle and joint tightness.