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zumba class

Finding Your Perfect Exercise

Number Two: Zumba

Zumba is exercise and fun combined. A mixture of dance and aerobics set to fast paced music, often Latin-American.

It was developed by Alberto Perez in the 1990’s and has since been taken up all over the world. Today approximately 15 million people take a Zumba class every week. With an average burn of 800 calories, that means 12,000,000,000 calories are being burned every week.

  • Zumba Gold - a program for beginners and older people.
  • Zumba Step - a lower-body workout that incorporates Zumba routines and step aerobics
  • Zumba Toning - workouts with toning sticks targeting abs, thighs, arms, and other muscles throughout the body.
  • Aqua Zumba - held in a swimming pool.
  • Zumba in the Circuit - combines dance with circuit training

Then, in 2016, Zumba for Strength was developed to combine Zumba dance with high intensity training.

 

What is it like?

Well the first thing which comes to mind is that Zumba is fun. Yes the first few classes can be frustrating as you try to keep up with experienced classmates who seem to know every step and wiggle. But you are soon in the groove and bouncing along with gusto. Age is no inhibitor. As a self-regulated exercise, you go at your own pace and if you run out of breath, just reduce your movement. Some Zumba classes are designed for the elderly or people limited to chair exercise – so no excuse that this is too demanding. One caveat here - if you are suffering any form of joint issues such as arthritis or nerve problems such as sciatica then this is not for you – too much hip grinding involved.

If you want to get a feel for a Zumba class, take a look at the You Tube class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRkNfdlm5Qs

 

Who is it for?

Zumba is likely to be enjoyed by people who like a fast paced workout with little repetition. Also best if you enjoy dancing and bopping around. A sense of fun always helps as you are wiggling those hops like a teeny-bopper and so there is no room for being inhibited.

You should expect to be out of breath – this is not a gentle, relaxing exercise like Tai Chi.

 

The benefits

The Health Fitness Revolution published by Samir Becket (link) has listed ten top benefits as follows:

  • Calorie and fat burning – you can expect to burn between 500 and 1,000 calories a session
  • Improved coordination – dance increases our balance and smooth movement
  • Full body workout – every part of your body is conditioned
  • Aerobic benefits – it works at a heart rate of 145 beats a minute which strengthens cardiac fitness
  • Anaerobic benefits – it increases endurance
  • It gets you hooked on exercise – because it is fun
  • Everyone can join in – all you needs is leggings a top and good shoes for the gym floor
  • Increased confidence – lowered inhibitions increase self-confidence
  • Mood boosting – by boosting endorphins you up your feel-good factor
  • It’s social – what’s better than jumping around as if you were back being a kid?
  • In short, if you like to dance, like to laugh, like to exercise in a group and strut your stuff – this might be the exercise for you.
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