The benefits of being physically active

Today I’m killing two birds with one stone, so to speak: satisfying today’s Daily Challenge, “Share or write down the biggest benefit you get from being physically active,” by writing this blog entry.

Most of my physical activity is either all the everyday walking around that I do, or my bellydance classes. Walking is good just because it gets me moving and helps me to feel not so stiff and creaky. What’s actually better, though, is the dance. When I’m dancing, I’m stretching muscles and ligaments and tendons, in a good way. Since I started taking the bellydance classes two and a half years ago, I’ve gotten a lot more flexible. I could barely touch my toes when I started; now I can easily place my palms on the floor. Admittedly, my feet are a little wider than hip width apart and my knees are unlocked (as they should be!), but that’s still an impressive improvement. Dance has also improved my posture considerably. I have a pronounced tendency to slouch, given all my hours at the computer. But whenever I think about dance posture, my spine straightens, my butt tucks under, my shoulders come down and back, and my chest lifts out of my stomach. That makes me look two inches taller and at least ten pounds lighter! Woot!!

Dancing also has a good effect on my mind and my soul. I’m learning new skills that are way out of my comfort zone, which keeps the brain ticking right along. I also get the camaraderie of being with a group of women with a common interest with a long tradition, which is manna for the spirit.

It’s worth it.