by Bea | January 27th, 2011 | Cardio, Exercises

Zumba started back in the mid-1990s as an accident. The story goes that it all started when a fitness instructor in Colombia forgot his usual tapes at home one day so he used tapes that had traditional Latin American music on them instead. As you might have guessed by now, the change in music had been a complete hit and the instructor started to incorporate salsa and merengue moves into his classes.

Zumba has become more and more popular over the past few years. I had gone from never hearing about it to seeing it advertised all over the place and listening to my friends tell me how much fun it is. Now it’s my turn to give it a try at a local gym. Usually I would not sign up for a gym because I prefer to run outside, but due to my work schedule, I can never run when there is still light and I don’t enjoy running in the dark. Another main reason why I signed up was because group lessons (for classes such as Zumba) were included in the monthly pass.

Zumba is a danced-based fitness routine. It is fun, engaging, and a calorie burning activity! Depending on the class and how much you apply yourself, you can burn anywhere from 400 to 900 calories in just one hour! Most importantly to me,  Zumba makes it easy to stick with a fitness program because you have a great time while exercising. It’s always hard to stick with a fitness program, but you certainly don’t have to force yourself out of your house to go to a Zumba class. The routines and moves consist of a combination of Latin American dances, hip-hop, belly dancing and other dance styles and the goal is experience a full body and cardio workout. The music is what brings it all together. With spicy Latin American sounds and beats, it is hard to stop your toes from tapping and your hips from swaying.

Though the moves can be tough, you just have to try your best and watch the instructor. As you continue to take more classes, you will get used to the moves and you will start to recognize patterns that your instructor uses. If you can, try to vary your instructors. That way, you can truly get the most out of your Zumba experience.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.