A fun and energy-filled dance workout, Zumba has quickly become a new household name. A combination of fast-paced music along with easy-to-learn dance steps makes Zumba an enjoyable and upbeat way to tone the body through effective cardiovascular exercise.
During the mid 90s, fitness instructor Alberto "Beto" Perez forgot to bring his music to exercise class one day and he had to improvise. He took some Latin music out of his car and decided to lead his class in a few dance moves. His class, which was based in Columbia, South America loved what he had accidentally invented and told him that they wanted more. In 2001, Beto, who now lived in Miami, was approached by three young business entrepreneurs who took Beto's ideas and trademarked this form of exercise with the name Zumba. In 2007, Zumba was launched internationally and is now also available in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
According to "Zumbacize.com," the music is the single most important element of the class. About 70 percent of the music that is danced to in a Zumba class is Latin music, where the remaining 30 percent can be another type of music that the instructor chooses, such as hip hop. Fast-moving, pulsating rhythms are played to inspire the participants to get up and get moving.
A Zumba dance workout may contain one or a combination of all of the following dance styles: the Merengue, Cha-Cha, Salsa, Tango, Flamenco, Belly Dance, the Cumbia, Reggaeton and even Hip-Hop dance.
Zumba is said to be a great fat-burning workout that doesn't even feel like you are exercising. Between 600 and 1000 calories are said to be burned during 1 hour of Zumba. Dance moves that are performed during the Zumba workout target the abdominal and back muscles to increase strength and tone in the core area. High and low intensity levels are utilized throughout the practice which may help an individual's endurance levels to increase. The variety of music and movements in a Zumba workout may help to fight off boredom that comes with some other types of cardiovascular workouts.
What to Expect
A Zumba class may have a mixture of experts and beginners; however it is said that catching on to Zumba won't take long, as it is fairly simple to do. Those who worry that they are not in good enough of shape to try Zumba should not be afraid to try it. The level of intensity depends on the individual. For instance, a beginner who may tire out easily may choose to do only the foot motions. The hand motions can be added as the individual feels that they are ready to do so.
As fast-paced cardiovascular dancing is likely to make most people break a sweat, it is recommended to bring plenty of water to replenish lost fluids. Carrying along a small towel is a good idea for wiping away the sweat. Wear comfortable shoes and a zipper jacket that can be removed after you heat up.