I love winters. It allows me the luxury to pile on the warm, fuzzy woollies, slather thick moisturisers, sneak under the duvet and enjoy a good evening watching telly. The glass of mulled wine or winey sangria or even plain wine to go with the whole experience is of course, mandatory. Lazing in the sun with a book and some rich potatoes and cheese lunch is usually what I plan for the day, accompanied by cups of sweet, frothy coffee. My friends tell me they envy my life that sounds just like the idyllic dream we have all grown up wanting to live.
But hold on a sec, with spring approaching and Primark and New Look changing their window displays, I find myself looking for that slinky top I bought last spring. To my horror, it doesn’t really fit me anymore. I mean, it fits me but more like skin than like a top. Did it shrink or… I don’t even want to think of the other possibility but all those evenings of sinful indulgence are creeping back into me. I dread standing in front of the mirror in the buff and I don’t dare looking at the weighing scales.
Okay, so while I thought I was only piling on clothes, I was piling on the pounds too. Throughout winter, it wasn’t just layers of clothing that kept me warm, my new layers of fat helped insulate my body too. As is with most women, my stomach and hips have been ‘blessed’ with much. And let’s face it; there isn’t any motivation to do crunches every day. One, two, three…by the time, I do ten crunches, my mind is busy making sly plans to avoid doing them tomorrow. But I am on the path to getting my toned abs back. Guess how? I am belly dancing!
Whoever thought the exotic belly dance could be my saviour? Shimming your way to a well-toned body? Yes, that’s the kind of fitness regime I have been on the lookout for all my life! And imagine the looks on the faces of your friends when you tell them you can belly dance, a la Shakira? The form of dance, which has its roots from various cultures of the Arabian Peninsula and is called ‘Raqs Sharqi’, is a complete body workout. Core strengthening is the hot topic in the fitness industry today and belly dance is a great way of doing that. From your abs and hips, to your shoulders and chest, every part of the upper body is well exercised in the belly dance workout. The balancing on the toes and the rapid moving around gives you perfectly shaped legs and corrects your posture, apart from imparting all the grace that becomes a part of your daily movements.
With readily available online videos and belly dancing classes found in almost every neighbourhood, there is no excuse for not having your best body ready for this spring-summer. Go ahead, try it and let me know how you felt. All the best!