Come on, how many of us dream of getting that flat stomach? And more so when it’s that time of the year when we want to bare all on the beach. Well, I’m no different and over the years I have tried to do ten million sit ups, hold my breath, lie down in various angles just to achieve that taut toned abs look. Unfortunately much to my dismay, I came to realise that there is no such thing as “spot reduction”. However, there are certain exercises that can assist in achieving flatter abs. So I decided to explore and set my sights on belly dancing.
I’ve been fascinated by belly dancing for as long as I can remember and I’d secretly try to imitate the moves (very badly) behind the closed doors of my bathroom. But despite watching belly dancers of all shapes and sizes wearing very little strutting their stuff online, on TV or in restaurants, I only managed to drum up courage to go along to a belly dance class two years ago.
As I started to turn up to the classes regularly I realised that what made belly dancing different from other forms of fitness is that it’s also a cultural experience that adds a whole other dimension to your fitness experience. Not only do you use all of your major muscle groups – legs, abs, back, shoulders, arms, core – but you can develop real confidence in your own body. And that for me has been one of the crucial reasons why I’ve stuck to it. Too often than not I have people telling me they are not confident about their bodies and it’s such a shame because there is some part of the body that everyone has they should be proud of. And with this dance you learn to love all of it. Here’s some of the other benefit with belly dancing:
* It’s natural to stretch the muscles as you warm up and as you dance.
* Many belly dance routines cause your heart rate to rise into the fat burning & cardio zone.
* It helps to relieve stress, possibly cutting down the stress hormones that some scientists say cause women to hang on to belly fat.
*As for the exercise itself, you will receive a great workout, especially for the arms and legs and your midsection.
My belly dancing debut
Yep you read it right – never did I once think I’d be performing in front of an audience! But this Saturday I will be making my debut at the Al Tarboush restaurant in Reading in front of diners. I’m both nervous and excited about this but above all I’m going to make sure I have fun. Because as I have said from the onset I want to teach everyone that keeping fit is fun and is not just confined to the boring types of fitness we were exposed to school. We have to find soemthing that we enjoy and stick to it. There’s no doubt that after my performance I will be encouraging others to come and join me at wiggling their hips. It’s all part of the experience as well as my gorgeous outfit which arrived this morning. But before I get carried away with the outfit I have my final rehearsal tonight and I know my teacher Shebnem will not be letting me away until I’ve perfected the routine. I’ll do my best but if all else fails it will be shimmy all the way and the evidence will be posted on my blog!