Monday, August 18, 2014

Try Zumba for health

There's a reason these dance classes are popping up all over the country. They're fun and a serious kilojoule burner.
Try Zumba for health
In the 1990s, dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez created a dance fitness program with the aim of making fitness fun. Zumba is taking up where aerobics left off and has taken the world by storm.

Party atmosphere

The music is an integral part of a Zumba class. It sets the scene and the pace. Tara McGie has been teaching Zumba at Melbourne's Danzfit since the beginning of the year and is enthusiastic about the activity. "With Zumba there's a big party atmosphere. Most ordinary workouts are draining, but a Zumba class is invigorating and always heaps of fun."
McGie says it's the creative aspect of Zumba she finds appealing. "People love that there's such a wide range of movements and styles. You can do anything from Latin, calypso and hip-hop to world dance. The other day I had my class doing the can-can, which they loved. We change our routines once a month so your body never gets used to it and you can't get bored."
A Zumba workout is an intense cardio session. It's also an ideal way to tone lean muscles. McGie says a Zumba workout tends to concentrate on the abs, butt and thighs. "You don't have to get down on the floor or strain your back. Zumba works out the muscles, but without putting pressure on the body."
Types of Zumba
Anyone can participate in a class. Different teachers offer different experiences. There is the basic Zumba, which is dance steps to a beat, then there's Zumba Gold for the elderly and people with mobility issues. There's also Zumba for kids, Zumba for toning and advanced Zumba. It's a workout that is always evolving.
What to wear
You have to be comfortable, so layering is a good idea. A good pair of cross-trainers or dance sneakers help provide support. Dress for confidence too. Zumba is a celebration, so wear bright colours that make you feel great.
My experience
I've always wanted to take up Latin dancing, so I decided I'd give Zumba a try. I had a few bad experiences back in the day with aerobic classes, so I thought I'd start off with a few attempts at home. I bought a basic Zumba kit, which includes six workouts and Zumba toning sticks. The beats are infectious, the steps simple to follow and it's quite a workout. In a week I zoomed through all the workouts in the kit and now I'm hooked.
Where to Zumba
Most fitness centres offer Zumba. Ask if you can sit in on a session so you can see if it's for you.

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