Sunday, April 10, 2011


Zumba, an aerobic dance fitness routine set to South American beats, is a brand new way of getting fit through some fun. It's all about feeling the music, moving to it and letting it inspire you to a leaner and fitter body. Popular right from Miami to Mumbai, here's a quick Zumba 101 for our readers.

The Growth of Zumba: In 1986, Alberto "Beto" Perez was about to start an aerobics class with his group of students, when he found that he had forgotten his usual music. He looked through his bag, found some salsa and meringue music tapes, and within minutes the class was dancing to the new tunes. A new dance aerobic form was born. Moving from Bogota, Columbia, Miami and beyond, Perez carried Zumba from strength to strength. In 2005, Perez, along with his two partners, wrote a Zumba training manual and started hosting Zumba classes for trainers. Today, many people across the world are die-hard Zumbai fanatics, and practise it regularly for positive workout results through an enjoyable workout routine.

No Complex Choreography: In order to be a part of Zumba all you need is a well-fitting pair of dancing shoes or not-so-bulkyy cross-trainers. The basic essence of Zumba lies in its simplicity as there is no complex choreography involved. Like any other dance form, Zumba is a great mood elevator. It helps you let go of your inhibitions, and creates a sense of self-awareness, while helping you burn calories.

Fat and Calorie Burning: At its core, Zumba proposes to offer a large calorie burn through high-tempo aerobic activity coupled with interval training. Based on various factors such as body weight, gender, fitness level and other physical factors, you can burn up to 400 to 600 calories per hour.

While Zumba can offer much-needed respite for 'gym rats', it will also help kick-start your stamina, physical balance and muscle tone. Other Zumba benefits are, essentially the same as for any other good workout routine - lowering of blood pressure and increased bone density. Zumba integrates fitness moves quite effortlessly. So be ready to move to a fast latin beat while completing rhythmic push-ups against the wall! Similarly, Zumba may also include several sets of squats and plyometric jumps - all while you think you're dancing.

A Full Body Workout: Zumba is a dance form merged with a fitness routine that touches on nearly every muscle and joint. Hips and abs are prime areas of focus, and flexibility is quite important too. Each Zumba class starts and ends with the standard warming and cooling own breathing and motion exercises.

Should You Zumba? Not all of us can stick to strength training and cardio at the gym. The rest of us don't have adequate opportunities to stay fit through sports. Enter Zumba. But remember, even a fun packed wotkout won't help you get fit if you forget the first three rules of good workout routines - be regular, stay motivated, and push yourself.

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