Belly Dancing Fitness Exercise

Belly Dancing Fitness Exercise

Belly Dancing and Fitness Exercise. Photo credit

Belly dancing has a long history associated with The Middle East, India, and parts of the Mediterranean. It has rapidly become popular in the West as a form of exercise. Belly dancing is the name given to this type of movement in the West. One description is belly dancing is improvised dancing of a solo artist using the torso as a form of expression.

It appears belly dancing was seen as representing life in a harem of the Ottoman Empire during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Perhaps this was a romantic view of the Middle East at that time.

Some forms of dance tend to push the body into unnatural shapes and positions, however belly dancing works with the body’s natural inclinations. The figure of eight shaping, rolls, hip drops, and pivots use the muscle groups in the pelvis, thighs, abdomen, spine, and up into the neck. The gentle repetitive low impact movements improves flexibility and suppleness. The techniques involved in belly dancing is to look at the body in separate parts. The rib cage and the waist should be isolated from each other. The shoulders become independent of the hands, wrists, and elbows, forming a fluid movement. The abdomen and hips need to be controlled to form the shapes and perform the movements.

Any form of dance makes an excellent form of exercise, but belly dancing can be started at any age. It is fun, creative, and a real confidence builder. With the increase in popularity in the West comes an increase in available tuition. Tuition is available in some areas in the sports centre or even the local village hall.

Weight Loss Retreat Testimonial by Gina

Gina give her story on the holistic weight loss boot camp that she attended in Derbyshire.

She states that she struggled with her weight since she has been quite young. Once Gina lost 8st and she’s trying to continue with her weight loss.

She chose FitFarms because of the exercise and the sensible eating plan which is easy to follow. You will notice that she says she likes the support you get from the fitness camp team.

Gina lost 18lbs which is quite an achievement.

Half Through Another Week At The FitFarms Fat Camp (Report)

Half Through Another Week At The FitFarms Fat Camp (Report)

Never Give Up. Photo credit Victor Stuff.

We’re over half way through the week now and the group are still doing well, there is a notable difference in their energy levels and some are starting to struggle with fatigue both mental and physical but none the less, the effort is still there and that’s all that we ask for.

As instructors we feed of the determination, the effort and enthusiasm and we appreciate how it feels and how hard it is, so when we have a group of people like this weeks, we never get tired..

They may not be able to do as much as they did at the start of the week but they are trying! They are working with every last ounce of energy and giving their all to see each class through to completion and that’s all we need to see, for them we will give every hour of the day to listen, explain, demonstrate and discuss anything they want our input with.

By Friday we will all be emotionally drained mentally exhausted and physically DONE IN!! But it will always be worth it when we have a group of clients willing to give their all and try no matter how hard it is or how tired they get.

Once again and possibly now more than ever, let’s have some support on Facebook. Send in your messages or post your thoughts so that the girls can see that we are walking the path with them and that they are not alone, feeling very humbled at this point in the week to see so many trying hard and pushing their way to complete every class and stay positive.

A big well done from all of us at FitFarms, trainers, cooks, experts and coaches, we are all amazed at your efforts so far.

Two girls who have made friends whilst visiting the Weight Loss Camp in Derbyshire

Two girls who have made friends whilst visiting the Weight Loss Camp in Derbyshire

One of the exercises we complete at the weight loss camp is to walk or run around Carsington Lake. It does depend on your current fitness level to if you are running or walking but one thing is for sure the scenery is stunning.

These two girls have also supported them through this part of the exercise programme which is a great help with motivation.

Well done girls!

A Warm and Healthy Soup for Autumn

A Warm and Healthy Soup for Autumn

Healthy Autumn Soup Recipe. Photo credit Special Fork.

The nights are drawing in and we start to think about those warming meals which may not be as healthy as we would like. But here is a very tasty and warm soup that you can mix and match the ingredients to suit your own tastes.

Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli Soup


  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • large pinch chilli (flakes if possible)
  • 1 tbsp oil, olive oil is best
  • 1 red onion (seasonal vegetable), chopped
  • 140g red lentils, split
  • 850ml water or vegetable stock
  • 400g can tomatoes, can be chopped or whole
  • 200g of chickpeas, a carton or ½ a can, drain and rinse (leftovers can be frozen)
  • small bunch of roughly chopped coriander (save a few leaves to garnish)
  • 4 tbsp 0% Greek yoghurt, to serve


  • Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the chilli flakes and cumin seeds for approximately 1 minute, or until they start to bounce around the pan and release the aroma.
  • Add the olive oil and red onion, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and stock, then bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the lentils have softened.
  • Mix the soup with a food processor or a stick blender until it is a rough purée, pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas.
  • Heat gently, season and stir in the coriander.
  • Finish with a measure of yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

This recipe only takes 10 minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to cook. There are sufficient ingredients to serve 4 people.
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients and consider why those are in a healthy recipe as opposed to others.

Olive oil is considered a healthy fat as it is a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA). MUFAs have be credited with helping to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol. Research is now starting to show that MUFAs help with maintaining blood sugar control, and therefore insulin levels. This blood sugar control is helpful if you suffer from Type 2 Diabetes. However, all fats should be used in moderation as they are high in calories.

Red and yellow onions are an excellent source of quercetin. This is a bioflavonoid that will scavenge cell damaging free radicals. Onions are rich in antioxidants that are anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Eating onions can help in suppressing rhinoviruses, the underlying cause of the common cold. Red onions contain allicin and this has been credited with promoting cardiovascular health, and preventing some cancers. Onions can be eaten cooked or raw, and counts towards our five-a-day.

Chickpeas have a nutty taste, and are high in protein and fibre. They also have a low glycemic index, an ideal combination to aid weight control. Chickpeas in your diet will help towards reducing heart disease through lower levels of cholesterol. Chickpeas are very versatile, and can be used in soups, as above, curries, salads, stews, and chilli’s. Chickpea flour is naturally gluten free, and can be used to make pakoras and pancakes. Chickpeas can even be used in baked goods as an egg substitute.

The 5 Minute Weight Loss Retreat Exercise By Andy And Ian (Video)

Today Andy and Ian from the weight loss camp team in Derbyshire are showing us a complex sequence of fitness moves.

It consist of 6 to 8 reps of controlled movements.

The first exercise move will be the reverse plank, then the V sit up which is extremely demanding, then into the side crunch with a short range of movement making sure to train both sides.

The last fitness exercise is the squat thrust which is explosive and great for abs and hip flexors.

Weight Loss Boot Camp Walking Exercise Activity at the Carsington Reservoir

Weight Loss Boot Camp Walking Exercise Activity at the Carsington Reservoir

One of the interesting activity in our holistic weight loss boot camp is the Walk Exercise where the group will walk 8 miles with the breathtaking view of the Carsington reservoir.

The walk activity has an easily modifiable route so that it can be equally manageable yet challenging to any level of fitness or ability.

Almost Completed Another Great Weight Loss Camp (Report)

Almost Completed Another Great Weight Loss Camp (Report)

Exercise Activities at Weight Loss Boot Camp.

Two days of exercise left, lovely weather and a great group of people loving the exercise and the experience, today is a good day. We have a beautiful local walk to look forward to, as well as the life coaching session with Cara, but we end the day on a sad note as it is our final resistance class this evening. “I know right??” But we won’t dwell on that too much.. The excitement begins to build today, whispers of “only another day to go!.. Come on girls we can do this!” Build and travel around camp.

The girls have done so well to this point and if they were to be beaten when so close to the end it would be a tremendous shame. So it’s really good to see them rally together and pull each other along, over the last couple of days alone, the girls have done a mixture of circuits, weights, boxing, kick boxing, high intensity intervals, dancing, aerobics, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, aquafit, walks, hula hooping, kettlebells, abs, belly dancing, chairobics, bokwa, kick cardio and after all of this they’ve still found the energy to tease and taunt me!! ;-)

Just looking at that list I ask the girls “what would you say if we showed you this at the start of the week?” They look at me and for the first time this week! Utter piece and quiet!! relief! however short term it turned out to be.. Only kidding; none of them can believe it, none of them have really let it sink in before now.

This week is always an amazing experience and well worth the leap of faith it takes to book.

Wonderful Day With The Fitness Camp Girls

Wonderful Day With The Fitness Camp Girls

Weight Loss Camp Week. Photo credit Parade.

And we’re back! The team are eager to get started with a new group of girlies, once the initial settling in and unpacking is done the girls meet up for the first time In the dining room ready for their official welcome to FitFarms, then it’s dinner and finally the 1st workshop of the week with Zu.

The group seem quite comfortable already.. It helps that we have quite a few returners and that there are a few strong and happy characters moulding the dynamic in this early stage. For some this will be 2 straight weeks, yes that’s right there is a group with in the group of 9 clients staying for a whole 2 weeks! That’s 2 courses straight through back to back, they seem nervous but capable, and I’m sure the fact that there is nine people doing the same will help them to settle.

We are at the start of a 3 week stint, 2 up in Matlock and one down in Dorset so it’s going to be a busy month for us but if all the weeks go as well as they should there will be a great sense of achievement to follow, not just for the clients but for us as well as 3 weeks in a row is tough going but also so rewarding so we’re looking forward to the challenge!

Anyway that said it is now time to retire ready for our first full day tomorrow, so as always I ask for your support on Facebook and through the website for our new group of clients this week and spare a thought for the emotions and feelings they will be experiencing over these first few days.

Thank you

Could Peppermint Tea be the Key to Trimming your Waist?

Could Peppermint Tea be the Key to Trimming your Waist?

Many wonder health benefits of Peppermint Tea. Photo credit

There are many wonderfoods that help people lose weight that have been tried and tested such as apples, steaks (yes, surprisingly!), lentils, olive oil, avocado and chillies. Lately, however, experts are talking about how people who want to lose weight should start drinking more tea –the winter-appropriate peppermint tea, to be more exact. But “how could something as simple as peppermint tea help me lose weight?” you may ask.

Suppress Appetite for Eating More
According to experts, peppermint tea helps suppress one’s appetite. The strong scent in this herb helps keep cravings in check so it’s been suggested that sipping a hot cup of the minty tea after meals can keep your hankering for a slice of chocolate cake at bay.

Digestive Aid for Weight Loss
That peppermint tea is a digestive aid helps boost the idea that the tea can assist in weight loss. Rudolph Ballentine, author of “Diet and Nutrition” suggests that having problems in the digestive system leads to poor nutrient absorption. Poor nutrient assimilation wakes up your body’s food cravings while, on the opposite end of the spectrum, a healed digestive system won’t want to eat more than it should. Additionally, peppermint tea can get rid of constipation thereby improving digestion, allowing nutrients to get in your body, and keeping you from succumbing to your food cravings.

Lower Anxiety and Fatigue
It’s also worth knowing that peppermint tea can help you relax. NASA studies have found that the scent of peppermint helps lower anxiety and fatigue levels. It stands to reason, then, that people who tend to eat when they are stressed can be calmed and soothed by some peppermint tea, helping them forget about their frustrations and staving off their desires to “eat their feelings”.

Lower the Cortisol Level
Also, peppermint tea helps lower the cortisol levels which become heightened when a person is stressed out. High cortisol levels can wreak havoc on your metabolism, making it harder to lose the extra weight  you want to get rid of so it may be in your best interest to sip some calming peppermint tea.

Of course, despite all the benefits that peppermint or peppermint tea brings to people who wish to lose weight, nutrition and fitness experts are quick to add that one might only truly reap the weight loss benefits of peppermint by modifying your diet and developing a good fitness regimen.
Peppermint tea cannot spur fat loss on its own but paired up with an improved, healthier lifestyle which includes a nutritious diet and regular physical activity, peppermint tea can support weight loss.


About the Author
Health and Fitness Tips by FitFarms, the award winning Weight Loss Camp in the United Kingdom. Awarded Britain’s Best Weight Loss Camp by The Sunday Times Travel Magazine.