Pole dancing used to be something only associated with sleazy nightclubs and scantily clad women, but over the past few years it has become huge in the fitness world and I had to write a post about it as I have been happily ‘poling’ for over a year and love it! Not only can you burn up to an amazing 600 calories per session, but it also helps to sculpt your muscles into a long, sleek, gorgeous shape. Pole dancing gives a complete body workout and after your first few sessions you will find muscles you never knew existed, and it’s thanks to this that you will tone up fast as you will be working different groups of muscles simultaneously. This form of exercise dramatically increases your strength and after regular sessions you can expect to see increased muscle definition in your arms, bum and thighs. A typical pole class involves a variety of moves including spins and climbs, and unlike aerobics classes, you get regular breaks after performing these moves. These regular breaks mean that pole dancing can be classed as ‘interval training’. As those of you who Hiit regularly will know, interval training is well known to be one of the best ways to burn fat and improve cardiovascular fitness. So pole dancing is both fun and a fantastic workout…what more could you want? Another wonderful thing about learning to pole dance is constantly achieving your goals. Unlike many forms of exercise where you focus on creating distant goals for the future, in pole dancing you experience the feeling of achievement in every session. You can start the session not being able to do a particular move and by the end of the session be able to do it. The feeling of reaching your goals every session is somewhat addictive, and it’s immense fun to keep setting new goals as you know they won’t take as long as generic exercise goals. Each time you achieve a new move you feel inspired to do better and it works wonders for your self-esteem, many women describe pole dancing as liberating. Unlike gyms and aerobics classes you aren’t constantly reminded that you are there to lose weight, it is simply about learning a new skill and having fun along the way. The fact that your body improves each time is just a bonus. For those of you who are interested but worried that it will be too difficult, keep in mind that the images in this feature are not of a beginner and that all levels of strength and fitness are catered for in beginners classes. There will also be those of you who are nervous about what you will have to wear for a class…shorts and a vest top are best as your skin needs to have contact with the pole, but don’t worry… you don’t have to wear heels (unless you want to). As well as the many body image and self-esteem benefits, pole dancing has also been associated with preventing heart disease and diabetes during the later stages of life. So what are you waiting for? Go check it out… Warning: Once you try pole dancing you will be addicted!!