Guest Post by: Alyssa Staheli
Many people have heard of the “Zumba craze”. The rumors say that it’s “a weird dance class that mostly women go to”, or that “it has really strange music”. However, there is much more to it than that! Zumba has many health benefits, and it attracts a wide variety of people.
If you do a little ressearch on Wikipedia, you will find Zumba is “a Latin dance-inspired fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez in Colombia during the 1990s. Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba’s choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves. Squats and lunges are also included”. Basically Zumba is an aerobic inspired, Latin-style of dance that really gets you moving.
Well, with all of these different styles of dancing and exercise combined, there are sure to be tons of health benefits involved! For example, it tones your muscles. The dance moves incorporate a ton of traditional workout moves like squats, as mentioned before. Zumba simply makes them more enjoyable!
Zumba attracts people of all ages too. There are many different Zumba classes available, including ones just for kids. The traditional classes also have people of all ages coming, ranging from teenagers to seniors in their 80’s. What a vast age group!
There are also different kinds of music. Each class has music chosen by the instructor, and those can range from today’s songs on the radio to traditional African music. The trick is to find the right class for you. Some of them cost money, as with any dance class, but you can usually find one that’s super cheap or even free. If free works for you, then I’m sure there’s a class available!
Stress relief is another bonus about Zumba. Granted, exercise is stress-relieving on principle, but Zumba brings more to the table. Because it’s silly and fun, you are smiling and laughing while you are exercising. When you combine fitness and laughter, this powerful pair really packs a punch for stress relief!
Another great thing about Zumba is the results that people get. For example, one girl lost 75 pounds just from doing Zumba alone! It’s a great motivator to get up and exercising, while having fun too.
The most shocking benefits of Zumba is the calories burned. One hour of Zumba burns over 800 calories!
Now imagine the benefits of doing Zumba for an hour a day, 5 days a week. That adds up to 4,000 calories a week, while taking the weekend off. What a workout!
Perhaps one of the most important elements of Zumba is the retention rate. People have so much fun doing it; they keep coming back again and again! I think one of the reasons it’s so fun is due to the nature of the workout. Everyone has to follow the preset dance moves, and they are kind of silly looking sometimes! Everyone feels silly and dumb when they are Zumba dancing, and that’s what’s so great about it! You get the chance to laugh with your friends and get in a great workout.
However, some people might be self-conscious about getting their groove on in public. I know from personal experience that being overweight and going to the gym can feel really embarrassing, especially when you see all of those super-buff people working out. Thankfully there are other options! For example, the Wii has a Zumba game called Zumba Fitness and it’s really fun. It’s great because you can dance your heart out in the comfort of your own home, away from all the embarrassment. There are also Zumba DVD’s that accomplish the same thing, only you don’t have to hold the Wii – remote. I confess that I haven’t tried them yet, but I will soon! I’ve heard testimonies from others that the DVD’s are great, but the only downside is that you lose the social aspect of going to the class and dancing with other people.
This brings me to the next great thing about Zumba: making friends. When you spend a few hours a week with a group of people laughing and working out together, pretty soon you’ll start to make a few connections. Zumba is a great way to make friends!
Overall, Zumba is a great workout program. With a vast range of benefits, regularly going to a class will benefit you physically, psychologically, and socially. And if you are uncomfortable with dancing in front of others, there are other ways you can have fun and dance your troubles away.
Alyssa Staheli is a life-long learner and a health and fitness expert. She loves to write and share her knowledge with others. This is because she believes that “knowledge is power” and that with the right information, one can achieve optimum health. She recommends running as one of the best forms of exercise, whether it be on a treadmill or outdoors.