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@Swaye Gets A New Gig As A Native American Exercise Instructor
In Indian Country, a gym membership is not a cultural norm and the incidence of heart disease and obesity are high. Native Americans are 60 percent more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic whites. The Coeur D'Alene tribe, whose headquarters is in northern Idaho, is trying to combat the problem by incorporating culture into fitness programs.
All the dances in the exercise program are typical at powwows, including the "Men's Fancy Dance," — which features four basic steps and a hip move. The hip move involves lifting your knee up, then circling it out to the side, all the while bouncing to the drum beat.
"It's almost like jumping rope for 25 minutes straight," Louie says, as she keeps everyone moving through dance steps at one of the weekly exercise classes. "If you don't do it regularly, your calves will hurt, like you're just out of breath, because you're just constantly bouncing."