Its popularity is indisputable. Zumba, the exercise style inspired by the Latin dance has people talking and participating. If you have not yet given a chance and are looking for a change in your exercise routine, maybe it's time to start keeping up and join a dance exercise party that will accelerate your heart and burn calories.
Instead of running on a treadmill or standing in front of a mirror lifting weights, Zumba Fitness offers an exhilarating exercise. Look at the people around you in the Zumba class and you will see a smile on their faces.
Julie E. Kelly, education specialist for Zumba Fitness, LLC.
Enjoy the benefits
It's an exercise in disguise. That's what the Zumba Fitness classes offer. The 45-60 minute exercise incorporates salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton and other contagious rhythms from around the world. The participants end up sweating and happy, and also get results.
Zumba Fitness Education Specialist LCC, Julie E. Kelly, who has been in the exercise industry for more than 30 years says, "I have taught several formats in my career, but teaching Zumba Fitness classes and doing trainings for future Zumba trainers, it's the most fun I've done as an exercise professional. "
A one-hour Zumba class can burn between 500 and 1000 calories depending on intensity level. "It's an excellent form of cardio, and if you take the classes often (we recommend at least three times a week) you can get excellent results The participants can see dramatic weight loss because they burn fat and work the main muscle groups, "adds Kelly.
Jackie Potter, who attends Zumba classes in Montgomery, Texas, sums up her experience: "The class makes me happy, and I also feel that it helps me tone up. I've noticed that I have more flexibility and a better balance."
James Mitchell, another Zumba participant, adds that classes allow him to get in better shape and also look forward to the opportunity to share the experience with his partner on a weekly basis. "I can be with the woman of my dreams, my wife, "says Mitchell.
"When a person starts a Zumba class, they will not simply see a change in their level of exercise and in their body, their happiness, self-esteem and confidence will also be affected in a very positive way. Life and something you look forward to every week It is not uncommon to see a person absolutely ingrained in the program, there are people who even have Zumba Fitness tattoos, and the tattoos are permanent! "says Kelly.
Participants are not the only ones who become addicted to Zumba classes. Each Zumba instructor has their own story, and one reason why they keep coming back for more.Andrea LaToison, a licensed Zumba instructor based in Houston, Texas, says her love for teaching Zumba Fitness was natural: "I love Zumba because it reminds me of my Latino family, dancing salsa and meringue all over the house when I was a child, and to grow up watching all the Latin parties that my grandmother and my grandfather organized, my family is always dancing around the house, kitchen, patio and garden, "said LaToison.
Instructors and participants from different walks of life, cultural backgrounds and exercise levels have their own experiences to share, which makes the Zumba connection even more powerful.
Exercise for the entire body
With Zumba, no major muscle groups are left aside. The basic dance and exercise combinations are designed to be fun and effective, while you work your entire body.
"Many instructors incorporate the squats in their routines to work well on the legs and buttocks," explains Kelly. "The routines contain fast and slow rhythms, which when combined combine to tone and sculpt the entire body at the same time as they burn fat. "
Zumba is also a way to strengthen the core, which includes the abdominal and back muscles. Laura Studensky, a 3rd year law student and Zumba instructor based in Houston, has always been an active person. "I played in the first division of volleyball and I have been a dancer for many years. my back, I had to find an exercise that would help me to strengthen the nucleus, but also be gentle enough so that my body could handle it.After finding Zumba, I have improved my chronic back pain and gained a new passion for teaching exercise in groups, "says Studensky.
For Zumba enthusiasts who are looking to expand their cardiovascular exercises to include muscle strength, an advanced option is Zumba Toning. "The toning program incorporates reps to target specific muscle groups while burning fat, using low weight toning rods, which are used as maracas, to complement the contagious and international Latin rhythms, "explains Kelly.
Dr. Vivek Mangla, a cardiologist at Memorial Health System of East Texas at Lufkin, clarifies that combining cardiovascular exercise with exercises to tone muscles can have additional advantages, since muscle mass retention becomes more important with the age.
"To obtain the benefits from the cardiovascular point of view, it is important to raise your heart rate to 80% of the maximum rhythm at least five times a week," said Mangla.
A safe, fun and effective alternative
If you hate the gym and exercise is a task that you dread, Zumba may be the solution.
"Instead of running on a treadmill or standing in front of a mirror lifting weights, Zumba Fitness offers a stimulating exercise.Look at the people around you in the Zumba class and you will see a smile on their faces" says Kelly.
Zumba is not about following each and every step perfectly, it's about finding your own rhythm as you move through the music. Although some may find it harder to get used to choreography than others, instructors emphasize a non-competitive and welcoming class environment. The steps are designed to be easy to follow, but there is no pressure to achieve them perfectly.
"We all have the basic human need to express ourselves, and Zumba Fitness provides a trial-free platform to do so." This need is universal, and as long as this basic human need exists, Zumba Fitness will continue to be a safe space for people who want to have fun and express themselves through movement, "says Kelly.
No wonder this exercise phenomenon has attracted more than 12 million people in more than 125 countries around the world, according to the Zumba Fitness website.
Instructors receive a wealth of resources including choreography, music and other tools to help structure their classes. Instructors can use pre-choreographed routines or create their own classes. However, with every routine, Zumba emphasizes safety as a priority. The modifications are key so that any participant can enjoy the exercise. Participants with a history of injuries can modify movements and transform high-impact steps into low-impact ones.
Studensky says this is helpful when directing his classes. "In certain sports or traditional group exercise classes, the modifications are not available, Zumba adapts to the individual needs of the exercise levels," he adds.
Things you should know before trying Zumba
It is mandatory to have a Zumba license to teach a Zumba class. However, certified Zumba instructors do not necessarily have to have a general exercise certificate, such as AFAA or ACE, to teach Zumba. As the popularity of Zumba spreads around the world, more people are getting their certifications. Although an individual can sign up for training easily and thus become a licensed Zumba instructor, the individual may lack the knowledge of exercise necessary to instruct a group safely in an exercise class. This is why Julie E. Kelly, an education specialist for Zumba Fitness LCC, who has ACE, AFAA, AEA, ACSM and NSCA certificates and also has a master's degree in kinesiology, and other Zumba education specialists, they highlight the importance of obtaining certificates.
"All instructor trainings around the world include information about the AFAA, ACE or the local exercise certificate from that country," says Kelly. "In addition, we see our Zumba academic program as an ongoing education program. a lifetime trip where you constantly learn more.Our Zumba Instructor Network offers our instructors the tools they need to improve, as well as a constant flow of new choreography and original Zumba music, up-to-date trainings, classes and seminars at our annual convention and free workshops called ZIN days, exclusively for our instructors.We are always thinking about more tools to improve education.The mission of Zumba Fitness is to make our instructors successful. "
You can find Zumba classes in traditional and non-traditional exercise environments, from a health club to a nightclub. There are hundreds of thousands of classes around the world. Talk to the instructor before you sign up for the class and do not be afraid to ask questions.