Have you joined the Zumba fitness craze? I have to admit that I haven’t, although I have tried it a couple times when I have been at conferences with Zumba offered as a fitness break. My sister-in-law loves the Zumba program and goes about four times a week to classes, as well as participating in Zumba weekend fund-raisers. So if you haven’t tried it – what is it??
The Zumba program is Latin-inspired dance fitness that combines fast and slow rhythms with international music. WebMD tells us that a benefit of Zumba fitness over other dance style classes is that it focuses on only 4 or 5 steps per song that are repeated over and over. So it is easier to learn and you can be a beginner and not feel intimidated by someone who has been coming for a while. Like most cardiovascular workout programs – Zumba classes burn calories, can decrease your blood pressure and body fat, increases stamina and bone density, and can improve your balance and muscular tone. You can tone your legs, arms, abdomen, and gluts.
One of the great benefits of the Zumba program is the social aspect. Instructors often use a party atmosphere to make the classes fun and participants find that they forget they are exercising. I think this is one of the things that my sister-in-law loves about the Zumba program.
Classes can be found almost anyplace. To find the one closest to you go to http://search.zumba.com/classes/ and enter your zip code or the name of a nearby community. I found them listed at:
- Fitness Centers
- Community Centers
- Senior Centers
- Dance Schools
- Public Schools
- Almost anyplace
There is also a program called Zumba Gold that is targeted to older adults or those who are just getting back into exercise. Some of these classes may also offer an armchair version.
Once you find a class close by that you want to try – it is important to wear comfortable clothing and good exercise shoes, and bring a bottle of water, a small towel, and lots of energy.
So – what is your excuse for not trying a Zumba program or another new style of exercise? I promise that one of these times I will go to Zumba fitness when my sister-in-law asks who wants to go with her this week. After all, if my 12-year-old daughter can do it, why can’t I??
Note: This message is not intended as endorsement of this product by The Ohio State University or Ohio State University Extension, merely as a means to inform about a newer fitness program. Zumba® is a registered company; there are also fitness programs that offer similar workouts that may be called Latin Dance Classes or Latin Dance Fitness. To offer Zumba an instructor must have been trained with the Zumba Company.
Author: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.