Navratri 2022: Why Garba is a great workout for your heart, mind and body

Navratri: Ever thought of Garba as a form of workout? Yes, this power-packed dance form can be magical for your cardiovascular health, weight loss journey, core strength and mental health too!
Deepika Padukone doing the Garba
A Garba snippet from Deepika Padukone's Nagada sangh dhol song. Image courtesy: ErosNow
Radhika Bhirani Updated: 26 Sep 2022, 10:56 am IST
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The Navratri season brings in a melange of colours and a celebratory vibe among people! Festivity and fervour is at its peak in different parts of the country, where Navratri is celebrated in myriad ways. One of the most popular customs during this 9-day festive period is Garba, a power-packed Gujarati dance form which is performed in a community format. Even though Garba is a lot of fun, it holds a deeper meaning in the festive season and has its share of health benefits too!

Zumba, Bollywood style and Bhangra are dance forms that have found their way into the fitness game over the recent years. But even Garba is no less a workout, dear ladies.

We’ve seen our leading Bollywood ladies do the Garba. Be it Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in “Dhol baaje”, Deepika Padukone in “Nagada sang dhol” and Alia Bhatt in “Dholida”. And if there’s one thing we know, Garba takes a lot of vigour, co-ordination and stamina to nail it!

Take a look at some popular moments from Bollywood films!

Health Shots reached out to fitness expert Simran Valecha to know about the health benefits of Garba and whether it is a good exercise. Here’s what she shared.

5 reasons why Garba can be a great workout during Navratri and beyond

1. Garba is a workout you can enjoy

The expert recommends moving your body for an hour daily for overall good health. And what’s better than finding a workout you love? “Dancing to the beats with your friends is a fabulous way to work your muscles and burn a lot of calories,” Valecha tells Health Shots. According to rough estimates, playing Garba for an hour burns 500-600 calories. So, if you wonder whether Garba can help with weight loss, here’s your answer. “To lose 2-3 kg a month, you need to be in a calorie deficit and by simply playing Garba and not changing anything in your diet, you’re on track to lose that 2-3 kg,” she adds.

Also read: Turn to thumkas to lose weight: 5 dance moves to break a sweat


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2. Garba can help you strengthen heart and lung health

This dance style is like any other form of aerobic exercise – continuous, rhythmic movement of large muscle groups to strengthen the heart and lungs. “Your breathing plays a big role in all your workouts, thereby engaging your core muscles,” she explains.

Dance your way to better heart health
Dance your way to better heart health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Core strength

When you indulge in partner dances with the Garba sticks, it helps you focus a lot on your core and obliques. “Stronger core muscles not only mean better stability but also mean easier pregnancy for women. You’ll literally feel the burn on your core the next day,” says Valecha.

4. Garba is a full body workout

Garba is a full-body workout with some simple upper and lower body focused movements and multiple compound movements that work different muscles groups at once. This increases the efficiency of a 1-hour garba workout, as per the expert.

5. Increases focus and co-ordination

Since you perform this dance form in a large circular group and with dandiya sticks, you are bound to need focus to not miss your steps or hit anyone with your stick. It takes a lot on your part to be mentally present. But a word of advice here – don’t put yourself under too much pressure. Just enjoy the flow of dance and immerse yourself in the festive spirit. A healthy mind is also necessary for a healthy body!

Dance is good for mental health
Dance can make you forget your worries! Image courtesy: Unsplash

Some Garba tips you could use for Navratri

* It’s important to wear the right kind of footwear when playing Garba so as not to compromise on your form and get injured.

* If you don’t want to wear sneakers under your lehengas, dance barefoot to avoid any pressure on your ankles or knees when dancing!

* Stay hydrated

* If you feel tired, don’t shy away from taking a break!

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About the Author

Radhika Bhirani is a journalist with close to 15 years of experience in the Indian media industry. After writing extensively on health, lifestyle and entertainment, she leads the English content team at Health Shots. She has a special interest in writing on mental health and wellness. ...Read More

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