The Zumba mantra “Ditch the workout, join the party!” is exactly on point. Working out at the gym, for many, has become a dreaded event. Paying to do something healthy with the slim chance one will wake up with Madonna arms is just not realistic.
Head over to www.zumba.com, and find a workout that involves a party like no other, with soaring endorphins that result in an incredible high and a hangover that includes mostly sweat.
Zumba, a Latin-based, cardio dance party is basically a modern day Simon Says set to infectious music. You’ll burn about a week’s worth of calories in a one hour class, while smiling like a loon the entire time. There’s something for everyone, such as Aqua Zumba (low impact pool party), Zumba Gold (older adults), Zumbatomic (teens and pre teens), Zumbini (0-3 year olds) and much more!
At first, a Zumba class can seem like a gluttinous feast for the senses. Women and men alike clad in lime green and fuschia colored Zumba garb, accented with matching headbands and wrist paraphenalia, and side-step in their “spot” like racehorses at the gate as they wait for the arrival of their instructor.
Before class starts some instructors hold up a small cardboard box, shouting that the contents are free and not returnable. If you choose to take from the box, you will be the proud recipient of foam earplugs. You’ll need them.
The 10 minute “warm up” is usually a Pit Bull concoction, filling the room at record decibels and exploding the energy level. The next song however, could very well be a fast paced Merengue or Salsa and you may be dodging your neighbors arms, legs and other various body parts. But hang in there! There is usually a seven second water break half way through, and if you haven’t called an ambulance by now, you’ll probably make it till the end.
There is no instruction with Zumba, instead, the instructor holds up fingers or points left and right, and its up to you to follow the moves in a somewhat coordinated fashion. It can seem like a hellish form of Follow The Leader, as you contemplate the amount of sweat that has accumulated in various body crevices, but remember, you are burning off the latte and the Cinnabon.
About this time you will realize you have the same beatific smile on your face that your dancing neighbors do, for the music, the energy and the sheer fun of it all is truly infectious. Keep your own pace and kick it down a notch when you have to (usually during the Samba), remembering its your personal dance party.
Zumba, which has a specific recipe for intervals, begins its cool down about ten minutes before the end of class. You’ll be serenaded by Latin love songs, as you silently congratulate yourself for your hard work.
Ditching the workout and joining the party never felt so good.