Posts Tagged ‘zumba’

The first time I attended a Zumba class with my friend Katie was over a year ago, and the advice I was given from the instructor at the door was, “There’s no wrong way to Zumba.  If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!”

I’ve got to admit I was skeptical about the workout craze of the moment.  Zumba purports to be a dance party work out, and the first image that popped in my head when I read that description was Richard Simmons in a ridiculous outfit, hawking “Sweatin to the Oldies” VHS tapes on a late night infomercial.  And to some extent, the Zumba craze is at least a little similar to aerobics fads of the past- but with a noticeable difference: It really is a tough, fun workout.

The first thing I noticed at Zumba is the music selection.  Zumba is known for its Latin-inspired beats and dance moves, but in the Quincy classes, they mix in other genres as well.   Besides the Latin tunes, classes have featured songs by Prince, Gretchen Wilson, Micheal Buble, Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, and many more.  The mix of the music keeps the music fresh each class and offers something for everyone’s individual tastes.

Next, I was surprised at how polished the class structure was.  The well-trained and high-energy staff makes the hour-long class seem like the perfect hybrid of a night dancing at the club and a quality aerobic workout.  The songs are picked in an order that maximizes their impact: first a warm up, then working to high intensity, coming back down for a song, another high intensity workout, and finally a cool down tune.  The structure helps to make sure you’re getting your heart rate up into that max calorie zapping zone for as long as possible without burning yourself out.  And since you’re using your own body weight as the resistance, the workout is automatically tailored to your individual needs.

Laura and Katie at Zumba

Maybe the most startling thing you’ll notice in a Zumba class is the broad appeal.  The class I attended at the YMCA on Tuesday night had around 70 participants, whose age, experience and fitness level varied widely.  Somehow, all of these very different people managed to have a good time working out together, and no one feels overwhelmed or bored.  The energy in a Zumba class is simply magical, and it’s not uncommon for everyone to start “woo hooing” and clapping along with the music.  It’s unscripted and totally addictive!

Let’s not forget the reason we’re really at a Zumba class though: to get in shape and lose weight!  An average person doing an hour of Zumba can expect to burn between 500-1000 calories.  A Zumba class is a terrific aerobic exercise and a great step to help prevent heart disease. (Did you know? Heart disease is the leading killer of American women; 6 times deadlier than breast cancer.)

There are dozens of Zumba classes offered in the Quincy/Keokuk/Hannibal area.  The best way to see the complete listing is to go to http://www.zumba.com and click on “locate a class,” and enter your zip code.   As with all activities listed on the Get Out Blog, make sure you check with a doctor before starting any exercise program!

Original Post April 1, 2011

Read Full Post »