07:00 Monday 17 December 2012

Zumba

Written byLeah Cassady

Zumba is a Latin inspired dance fitness class, which actually began in 2001 but became popular in the UK in 2011. Here is an interesting fact about Zumba, it is in more countries than McDonalds!

As a newbie to Zumba, I didn’t know what to expect. The first thing I noticed was everyone was so friendly, it felt more like meeting friends for coffee rather than anything fitness related. I could hear people talking about their recent holidays and buying new Christmas trees.

I did worry about looking a fool as dancing isn’t something I do and I actually don’t exercise much in general, but my worries weren’t necessary. The session was full and all eyes were on the instructor, trying to keep up with the fast pace movements as we dived straight into a quick moving routine. In fact, during the drink breaks others actually complimented me saying I was good and they thought I must be a regular.

I could feel how active Zumba was within the first few songs. I was moving all of me – using my hips, arms and legs. My legs in particular were being worked out and thanks to the atmosphere and different routines I had fun whilst doing it, some members even likened it to a party.

We danced to the traditional Latin/salsa style music along with other more modern songs, including Pussycat Dolls - Don’t Cha and Psy - Gangnam style. Also due to the festive season approaching, we even did ‘Santa baby’, which was at a slower pace. The instructor explained the difference in beats and pace are designed to get your heart rate going, it’s called intermittent training.

Afterwards I spoke to a few people, most of which are regulars and have been coming for a year or more, and all of them stated the difference it has made to both their appearance and fitness. They commented on how they found they could run faster and for longer, how they dropped dress sizes and also notice the difference in specific areas. They mentioned that it tightened their tummy, thighs, arms and bums and made them more limber. They even spoke of how they dare to wear new and different things thanks to the shape Zumba has given them.

I’d say it is worth giving it a go, if you discover it’s not for you, at least you tried something new. Most members suggested attending once or twice a week to see the difference quickly, and there are plenty of classes to choose from, day or evening. I of course have only attended the one session, but if I could feel the work out from that, even a few days later, I’m sure it could make a difference.

For more information about Zumba classes in Staffordshire, click here.

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