Bhangra aerobics

Bhangra is the Indian rural dance from the northern state of Punjab. Bhangra is one of the trendiest of fitness and exercise routines, and has emerged as a popular alternative to regular aerobics winning rave reviews from the fitness gurus. It is vivacious, dynamic and provides a break. All the moves in the programme follow the folk dance pattern, but have been reconditioned so that they can also provide a healthy cardio-vascular programme, designed to burn as many as 500 calories an hour. Since the workout is a derivative of a folk dance, it is safe for all age groups. But the draw of bhangra for most fitness fans seems to be its music - a welcome change from mundane and rhythmless pop songs that never seem to end. It feels like attending a party and getting a workout at the same time. The beauty of these exercises lies in the fact that anybody can do them. If it is too fast paced, a slower version is available to suit your comfort level. The music is so alive, and the drum beat is infectious. We opt for Bhangra instrumental music, with occasional chants of "Balle balle" (hooray, hooray) and "Hadippa" (bravo). We combine cool moves with great music. Many students say the workout also gives them the opportunity to learn a little about Indian culture. After the bhangra dance, you are completely drenched with sweat and I think that is one of the best things you can have - lots of exercise while dancing for fun. Increasing interest in Punjabi music by American pop artists such as Jay-Z and Britney Spears have fueled its popularity.