Health Benefits of Belly Dance- Improved posture and muscle toning

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 In Essays

Our spinal column contains more bones and ligaments than any other party of the body.  Its 33 vertebrae are stacked together in a column joined together by cartilage and ligaments, and almost every movement of the torso depends upon its flexibility and function.  Muscle groups that attach to the ligaments and vertebrae create movement in the trunk and pelvis areas.  Belly dance tones these muscles and maintains flexibility in a safe and effective manner.

During the dance, the movements of hip drops, circles, figure eights, and shimmies put the joints and ligaments in the lower back adn hip through a full range of gentle, repetitive motion.  This movement helps increase the flow of synovial fluid (nature’s lubricant) in these joints.  When movements are done properly, the pelvis is tipped forward, or tucked somewhat; a neutral position that can help prevent lowere back problems.  Raks sharki can help relieve stress to the back, counteracting the almost constant compression of the disks that occurs from sitting and a sedentary lifestyle.

These toned muscles improve posture and help prevent back pain that can be caused by the unnatural curving forward of the spine that ocurs when muscle groups are weak.  Small muslce groups deep in the back that are normally under-exercised are used and strenghtened.  The muscles surrounding the hip, the largest joint in the body, are used and exercised during hip drops, and figure eights, enhancing flexibility and suppleness.  Improved hip flexibility can lead to improved balance when walking as well.

Arms and shoulders are exercised when doing lifts, circles, or the rippling motions of snake arms, toning muscle.  This toning effect is often evident early on, since holding the arms aloft are an important element of the dance, even for beginners.

Because a woman is on her feed, moving during the dance, it is considered a weight-bearing exercise.  Weight-bearing exercise can prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones, and the overall toning can lead to an improved self-image, as the dancer becomes more balanced and poised.  Belly dance is considered a low-impact exercise, meaning the risk of injury is minimal when movements are done correctly.  The benefits of belly dance can be enjoyed by women of all ages; men and children are participating in the dance as well, and reaping the same benefits.