Torn between the sultry moves of belly dancing and the soothing stretch of yoga? The good news is that both of these activities lead to weight loss. The bad news is that exercise has far less fat-shedding power than diet. In order to lose weight, you will need to eat sensibly in addition to your workout plan; however, exercise does help. Some forms of yoga are better for weight loss than belly dancing, and vice versa. Your best bet is to pick the one you enjoy most, since you are more likely to keep up a routine you find fun.
Weight Loss Basics
Fat loss does not happen overnight -- in fact, it takes a 3,500-calorie deficit to drop just 1 pound. To accomplish this, eat 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than you burn each day. You will lose a pound or two each week, which is a sustainable and healthy goal. Either yoga or belly dancing will help you burn calories more quickly than with diet alone; as you build muscle, your metabolism will increase because muscles use more energy than fat. This is why exercise is more effective for weight maintenance than loss.
Belly Dancing and Weight Loss
Traditional belly dancing does little in the way of calorie burn because it does not require sustained, heavy activity. However, fitness belly dancing classes are all the rage these days, and these can provide an intense workout. While classroom styles differ from studio to studio, you might burn around 350 calories in an hour-long session. In addition to the weight-loss boost, belly dancing tones your belly and waist. As a bonus, you will acquire some attention-grabbing moves to show your man.
Yoga and Weight Loss
Yoga can be gentle or grueling, depending on the style. Hatha yoga, a slower form, only burns 281 pounds on a 155-pound woman. However, you can expect far greater burning action with Vinyasa, Ashtanga and other styles. Before signing up for yoga class, research the style to learn if it will be intense enough for your calorie-burning needs.
Besides weight loss, there are plenty of other factors to consider when comparing belly dancing with yoga. More than just a physical exercise, yoga emphasizes mindfulness and can help you explore your spiritual side. It will also make you more flexible and increase overall muscle strength. Although it is not aerobic, the breathing exercises can also increase lung capacity. On the other hand, it is hard to beat the fun factor of belly dancing. And if you long for a toned tummy, this feminine exercise may be for you.
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