Interval Workouts With Bellydance

The great comedian Johnny Carson once said, “Timing is everything”.  It’s becoming increasingly evident that this is true even concerning our fitness routines.  How we time, or pace, our workouts determines whether the overall results are positive or negative.  Often called ‘interval training’ (see my last blog “When Exercise is Too Hard”), correctly paced workouts are becoming increasingly popular, especially for aerobic/cardio exercise.

Interval training consists of pacing your exercise in the following manner: a few minutes of warming up, then 8 repetitions consisting of approximately thirty seconds of high intensity movement followed by approximately ninety seconds of moderately paced movement, then ending your workout with a few minutes of cool down movements.

Any type of exercise can be adapted to the interval format and bellydancing is especially well suited for it.  In fact, bellydancing has always followed a paced structure due to the nature of traditional belly dance music.  The Middle Eastern music used in bellydancing usually alternates between short segments of slow, moderate, and fast tempos.  By using the musical segments in the timed manner listed above, and by matching the appropriate belly dance moves to the various tempos, you can get a good interval workout.

Unlike many other modes of exercise, bellydancing has physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits that are multidimensional and multi-faceted.  Adding that to the superior benefits of interval training shows not only that ‘timing is everything”, but that for aerobic fitness, bellydancing can offer everything.


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