Hula Dancing for Fun and Fitness

November 30, 2010, 12:14 PM HST
* Updated November 30, 12:15 PM
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Originally created for ceremonies and rituals on the islands, hula dancing has become known as the heart and soul of Hawaii in motion. This traditional dance is beautiful to watch, but it is also fun to try, as many who have been pulled out of the crowd at a luau have found. The hula is essential to the Hawaiian culture, but it is also a great way to get in shape and have fun at the same time. We have four healthy reasons to give the hula a go.

Builds Lean Muscle Mass

The hula uses nearly every muscle in the body for a full-body workout in every session. The movement below the waist works your hips, buttocks and legs, while the arms must work hard to keep time with the music as well. Many who try this dance are surprised at how sore their muscles can be after the first workout. Rest assured that soreness is whipping your muscles into shape so you can flaunt some serious lean muscle mass and tone after a few hula sessions.

Enhances Coordination

Like any type of dancing, the hula requires a degree of coordination to perform well. However, if you don’t think much of your coordination and dancing skills when you begin this dance, you will quickly find that it becomes easier once you get your hula muscles in shape. This dance can be challenging for even experienced dancers, because it requires that your various body parts work in different directions at the same time. As you improve your moves, you will find your coordination gets better as well.

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Gives the Heart a Workout

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The hula, like other forms of dance, offers a great cardiovascular workout. The physical activity involved with hula dancing ups your heart rate so your blood pumps more efficiently and all the muscles and organs of your body receive the nutrients they need. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Why not make at least a couple of those sessions fun and challenging with some hula dancing?

Builds Strong Bones

Any weight-bearing activity, including walking, running and (yes, indeed!) hula dancing, builds strong bones throughout life. This is particularly important as we get older and begin to lose bone density, making us more prone to osteoporosis. The right exercise can ward off those effects of aging, preventing breaks and chronic pain that can result from brittle bones.

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Hula dancing is more than an island ritual; it’s a full-body workout that gets you in shape with fun, lively sessions. If you have been looking for a fresh new way to up your fitness level or lose weight, perhaps hula dancing is the perfect workout for you.

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