I want to talk a little about Zumba because I recently tried it for the first time and absolutely love it now!
I had been wanting to try Zumba for probably like 2 years and just never found anywhere to do it. I recently joined a new gym and when I found out that they offered Zumba I was beyond excited. For some reason I was really nervous about going by myself but it just never worked out that anyone could go and I didn’t want to wait any longer so I sucked it up and went. I’m SO glad that I did. While I have an ok sense of rhythm, I am far (very very far) from being the next Shakira or anything. I have gone to dance classes before where everyone is super good and I am struggling to catch onto the simplest move and I was nervous that Zumba was going to be similar to those experiences. I was pleasantly surprised to see that with Zumba it doesn’t matter if you are a good dancer or have no rhythm at all…it is all about just moving and having fun. I found myself laughing through most of my first class because even though I felt kinda silly doing some of the moves, I was just having a great time!
Zumba is clearly for all ages!
For those of you who might be wondering what Zumba is, it is a dance+aerobics fusion class that uses Latin music to get people moving and get heart rates up. The class is basically just fast paced dancing for 45-60 minutes with little to no break. Zumba is based on interval training meaning your heart rate should be going up and down throughout the class, instead of staying steady like it might if you were to run 3 miles at the same pace. To do this, the tempo and beat of the songs are mixed throughout the class. When a song ends, the next one immediately begins and you start up a new routine but some of the songs have slower moves, allowing you to catch your breathe. It is a great way to get your heart rate up and Zumba even burns around 500 calories in an hour class! It honestly doesn’t seem like that because it goes by so quickly and is so much fun. I actually recently read that Zumba is one of the best workouts you can do as far as calorie burn. (article here
The dance moves/routine are easy to catch on to and incororate aerobic activities like jumping jacks, squats, etc. You basically just listen to the music and and follow the instructor as he/she does the moves. (Did that sentence just make anyone eles think of that line from Mrs. Doubtfire–Mrs. Doubtfire! He’s a she! She’s a he! He’s a she-she
.) hahaha. Anyways, Zumba uses the same music and routine (known as a track) for 8-10 weeks, so if you are going every week, it makes it a lot easier to catch on to the routines and get better at them.
I also really do think that how effective and fun Zumba is totally depends on the instructor. The normal teacher for my class is AWESOME. He can shake it better than any of the girls that take the class and he is so much fun. Last week we had a sub and she was a little bit disappointing. I didn’t really feel like I got much of a workout at all and normally I leave the class dripping in sweat. If you can find a Zumba class around you, give it a try! I know you will love it. One thing that I think is important is to make sure you are going to a Zumba certified instructor, because that is how you know that the class will be pretty much the same anywhere. You can do that at the Zumba web page
, searching by either class or instructor.
Have you guys tried Zumba before or would you? What do you think of it? What are your other favorite ‘fun workouts’ that don’t feel like a workout at all?