Pow wows and Exercise

By Pearl Mandan- Education Tech

Greetings from the Fort Berthold Diabetes Program!!! It might be safe to say that warm weather is finally upon us and we can now enjoy many outdoor activities. Warm weather also means powwow season is finally here!  Powwows provide many fun opportunities to exercise through dancing. This can be a great time to enjoy with family and old friends who you may not normally see throughout the year. Participating in intertribal dances can be a great way to catch up and exercise at same time. 

The great thing about pow wow dancing is that there is always movement and your body muscles will be affected depending on the style of dance you are doing. Jingle dress style will work your calves and hamstrings and quadriceps. Fancy shawl  will work your arms and lower legs, traditional ‘both men and women’ will work your legs intensely. While men’s fancy/grass will give your body a total cardio workout from both song and dance. Calculations of how much calories burned will vary from different dance styles. For example, the jingle style can burn up to 465 kcal for one hour, which is equivalent to a vigorous aerobic workout.   

As always it is important to remember to stay hydrated during outdoor activities and to eat healthy. Bringing your own food and snacks can be a very beneficial cost-effective healthy alternative to the often-unhealthy food stand choices which can counterbalance your workout. Trail Mix and precut fruit and water can be stored in a cooler and will be a great way to hydrate and the food you eat will be a great source of healthy nourishment. These foods will also give your body the energy you need to get you ready to dance and enjoy yourself.  

Along with these healthy choices it’s important to remember  to add sunscreen to protect you from harmful UV rays  and bug spray to protect you from those pesky mosquitos and ticks. Also remember to bring your favorite hat, visor and/or umbrella to give some much-needed shade. 

With these tips you can enjoy some great dancing and singing while catching up with old friends and soaking up the healthy environment and culture that powwows bring.