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Go try ZUMBA!

Updated on July 24, 2010

It's been a year to date since I vowed to myself to find another way of fulfilling my fitness goals. I must admit that I am some sort of a fitness fanatic. My fitness goals do not translate into numbers. I simply aim to break a sweat and hope my healthy lifestyle enable me to live long enough to see my daughter grow up. A year ago however, I found myself bored to the bones, doing the same routines I've been doing for years. A friend of mine recommended ZUMBA. I reluctantly went to my first class, half expecting to drop out in the middle of the whole thing. 365 days later, I am still at it and now considering to take it to another level.

ZUMBA has taken the spotlight by becoming the fastest growing dance-based fitness exercise. It's popularity has reached at least 75 countries! There are lots of aerobic exercise programs out there. What makes ZUMBA different is that it is actually fun. It stays true to its catch phrase "Ditch the workout. Join the party!"

Tips for the Newbies

  • You don't need dance experience! If you are able and willing to move - you can join ZUMBA. I was admittedly awkward and a little lost during the first two sessions. But ZUMBA has repetitive basic steps. It gets easier and makes a lot more sense as you keep going.

  • You will sweat,so dress for the part. Dress comfortably. I personally wear a bandana to keep sweat off my eyes and face as I move about. A good support/sport top is a must for those who are heavy chested.Proper shoes is very important. You do a lot of turning and pivoting. Shoes must be light and not stick to the floor. The usual work out/ tennis shoes generally suffice but I have discovered that dance sneakers or hip hop dance shoes do a better job at supporting and protecting your knees, ankles and toes! After researching the internet, I have encountered the following brands: Capezio, Sansha, Bloch and Leo. You can also find these shoes at dance stores or shops. These shoes generally (except Leos) run small and you have to order a size or two bigger than your street shoes. I recommend reading the reviews first before settling on a specific shoe. A good bargain is around $30 to $40.
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  • Move! What you get out of ZUMBA really depends on the effort you put on it. Don't simply flail your arms or barely move in your spot. Give it some 'tude (attitude). Flex your muscles, reach the ceiling, tighten your abs etc. The more you move the more you burn!
  • Don't be shy. Yes, there's a lot of shaking and twisting going on. Don't hesitate or feel embarrassed about it. Most people are too busy trying to keep up with the steps. Chances are, the only person looking at what other people are doing is - you. If you're simply a shrinking violet, bring a friend.
  • If you don't know what's going on or you've lost track of the next step, just keep moving. Make something up. Feel free to tweak something and give it your personal twist. As long as you're in tune with the rhythm, you're doing just fine. It might also help if you concentrate on the footwork first then add the arm movements later.
  • Never go to a ZUMBA class hungry. You will regret it 15 minutes into the class. Also, have a bottle of water handy. You need to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Lastly, if you didn't sweat enough - you probably weren't doing it right.



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