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Want to Stay Fit and Sexy Over 50? Try Pole Dancing

Want to Stay Fit and Sexy Over 50? Try Pole Dancing
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BY ELISABETH DANIELS

Younger looking skin. Improved blood pressure. Lower blood sugar. Stronger bones. Healthy weight. A sharper brain.

The benefits of exercise go on and on, and they become even more important as we age and move into the second half of our lives. When we get exercise, we not only feel physically better; we also feel better emotionally. We’re stronger and more confident, which, in turn, makes us feel happier and more empowered as the decades roll by.

How’d you like to boost your self-confidence and body image, too? Then pole fitness might be for you.

Pole dancing often conjures visions of sordid adult entertainment, performed in shady, smoke-filled rooms. But in recent years, the sport has moved out of the clubs and into the gyms as an entertaining new fitness trend – perfect for those over 50.

“Pole Dancing is excellent for staying in great shape as we age,” says Fawnia Mondey, owner of the Pole Fitness Studio in Las Vegas and commonly known as the world’s first pole dancing instructor.

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Elisabeth Daniels in class

High intensity pole exercises blend dance, strength training and flexibility for a full body workout that ramps up your self-esteem.

“Pole dancing is effective in these three areas: Building Muscle, Improving Cardio, and Increasing Flexibility,” says Fawnia.

She breaks it down like this:

  • Pole Fitness for Building Muscle: Using bodyweight on the pole is a very effective way to build and maintain muscle. As with any workout, a warm-up kicks things off. The cardio and dynamic stretching warm-up prepares the muscles for a workout using the vertical pole. Stretches happen between pole tricks and at the end of class.
  • Pole Fitness for Improving Cardio: When we use our muscles rhythmically, we increase our heart rate and improve our cardio. Pole fitness routines are extremely effective for this. Each dance lasts for one song and is repeated on the right and left sides to make sure the body is balanced out.
  • Pole Fitness for Flexibility: Most people aren’t flexible, so pole fitness is a wonderful way to motivate people to take better care of their bodies and stretch. While all classes vary from teacher to teacher and studio to studio, during a pole fitness class, students stretch mildly before and during and more intensively after class. Often the pole moves learned are also a stretch themselves. Floor work provides a wonderful rest from the poles. Floor work is also where stretching occurs, and flexibility is a key component of floor moves.

Aside from being a great workout, pole fitness is dramatic and sensual. Music naturally encourages us to move around and dance to the beat. Dance is universally appealing, and pole dancing takes it to the next level.

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Elisabeth Daniels in Pole Dancing Class

Mastering a sassy sequence of dance moves makes you feel accomplished and beautiful, almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face. In pole dancing classes, you’ll learn the fundamentals of pole work, including hand grips, strength holds, spins, and dance moves. You’ll even learn how to move your hips and flip your hair!

Concerned about being uncoordinated or not being able to do some of the moves? Let those worries go. As Fawnia often says in class, “Go slow and point your toes, and you’ll look amazing no matter what you do.”

Another fear people often have is that they’ll have to get naked in front of a bunch of strangers. Thankfully, pole dancing doesn’t mean stripping. You’ll keep your clothes on (although you’ll want to wear shorts to make the pole moves easier to execute).

You also don’t need to look like a stereotypical exotic dancer to embrace pole fitness. It’s for women – and men! – of all shapes, sizes and ages.

“It’s as fun and challenging as you make it,” adds Fawnia.

It’s important to approach these classes with an open mind and an adventurous spirit. Many find that their pole classes become their “happy place” and offer a reprieve from the daily grind. The workouts allow you to feel sexy, which is a boon to relationships as we get older. You might just get hooked on these classes once you experience the positive physical and emotional benefits of pole work.

To find pole fitness classes in your area, Google “pole fitness” or call your local gym to ask. For a home workout, purchase a removable pole and a few DVDs, like those offered by actress-turned-pole-instructor Sheila Kelley.

If you’re considering pole dancing as a source of fitness, there’s no better time than now to give it a go. It’s a fantastic body-mind workout, and it beats other types of sports by delivering a healthy dose of confidence and sexiness along with all the other perks of exercise.

 

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Elisabeth Daniels
Elisabeth Daniels is a freelance writer and social media manager living the laptop lifestyle from an RV she shares with her husband and three dogs. She writes travel articles and culture pieces for a variety of national and regional publications. Known as the Coffice Girl (cafe + office = coffice), she hangs out on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @CofficeGirl.