Belly Dance Fitness for You

It's Time To Spring Forward Belly Dancers! The Time to Change Is NOW

Taking the time to make adjustments and reinvigorate your goals for self, family and other facets of your life should happen a few times every year... and with the recent Daylight Savings, why not make this the time to Spring into a new season of YOU!

Here’s a few tips from experts to help you to a new season of shimmying and a balanced life.

1. Get new running shoes
The average running shoe has a life-span of 300 - 500 miles, including miles spent walking around the gym and running errands. Running in worn-out or ill-fitting shoes can damage your feet, ankles and knees - a belly dancer’s worst nightmare! Be sure to head over to your local specialty store and get a proper fitting.

2. Clean out your pantry

Are you still holding on to that leftover Valentine’s day candy? What other little “goodies” are hiding in your pantry?  If it’s overly processed sugary junk, or you can’t pronounce the first five ingredients, throw it out. (This includes those tasty little 100 calorie snacks, after all, a cookie is still a cookie, even if you only get the crumbs). Stock up instead on whole grains, lean meats, and organic fruits and veggies.

3. Dress for success.
Are you working out in worn out cotton tees and shorts? For shame! Swap them out for some fresh new threads. Look for lightweight, breathable materials that also help to wick away sweat and moisture. And don’t forget about your “girls”, get a new sports bra while you are at it. The average sports bra starts to lose shape and support after only 6 months.
4. Stretch it out.
Belly dancers already know, stretching is your first (and best) move.Try warming up with 10 minutes of light cardio, then add in dynamic stretches like lunges and toe-touches. Be sure to stretch after your work out too, it lets your muscles know to take a break.  Typical “stretch-and-hold” moves are great for post-work out relief.

5. Stay hydrated.
A general rule of thumb is the more you sweat, the more fluids you need to replace during and after your work out. Be sure to drink at least 20 oz of water (the standard is 16.5 - 20oz) three hours before your work out.  During your work out, be sure to refill the bottle and try to drink up to half every 15 minutes.  Staying hydrated will help you avoid muscle cramps and fatigue.

6. Take it outside!
Take advantage of the warmer weather and bring your work out outdoors. A simple circuit work out with jumping rope, short sprints and lunges, or resistance bands can be done in your own backyard. As an added bonus, just 20 minutes of fun in the sun means you are also getting your daily dose of Vitamin D. Just don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen before heading out.

7. Get a FitBit “friend”  to keep you motivated.
Are you worried that a work out partner would do you more harm than good? Try the FitBit. Similar to a pedometer, the FitBit hooks to your clothing and tracks your steps, calories eaten and calories burned, and can even post it to your FaceBook or Twitter.'s own Dilara Sultan is a FitBit fanatic. “My little FitBit is one of the best gifts I’ve given myself,” Dilara explains. “It keeps me on track and conscious of my fitness level as well as healthy eating. Plus, it’s something like a Positive Peer Pressure tool for me. I know that it will broadcast what I did the previous day, and I don’t wanna be lazy.”

8. Tie on ankle/wrist weights during everyday activities.
Want to tone up your arms and legs just by doing your everyday routine? Pick up a pair of wrist and ankle weights, and try them out next time you are cleaning the house, walking the dog or just running around the office. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much resistance a tiny one pound weight can add.

9. Empty your iPod.
belly dance, belly dancer, activities, mp3Are you still raq-in’ the same playlist since September? Freshen up your iPod with a hip new work out playlist. Try some amazing drum tracks that will get your heart beating right along. This is also a great way to expand your music knowledge, as all belly dancers know - you gotta know your music.