In the United States Native Americans are 60% more likely to be obese than are non-Hispanic white people. But fitness centers are not common on reservations. To combat obesity, one Idaho tribe is using cultural dancing to encourage members to move their bodies.
The Cour D’Alene tribe has developed a work out regime centered around their tribal dances. In a series of workout videos the dances are broken down step by step and the steps are made into workout moves. The catchy name for the workout video series is “Pow Wow Sweat”. There are six videos in the series. You can check out the dances in the videos below.
What the program emphasizes is that in order to live a healthy lifestyle one has to be consistent about moving one’s body. And that is more likely to happen if the movement is something enjoyable, like taking cultural dances tribes people already like up a notch. Even without the workout element the dances are rigorous exercise. While most community members watching the videos are probably following along in sweats or latex, the traditional outfits performers would wear if they were practicing for a real pow wow can weigh over 20 pounds with all the bead work.
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