You’ve been hearing about it from your friends, at the gym, on TV – the largest branded fitness program in the world: Zumba Fitness. As much as you’ve tried to avoid it, the time has come for you to give in and learn exactly why so many people are drawn to this incredible workout craze, and what it can do for your health and your body.
What Is Zumba?
Zumba Fitness is a global lifestyle and workout brand that incorporates Latin music and rhythms, high intensity cardio dance movements, and turns your group exercise class into a “fitness party”. Zumba classes incorporate easy to follow choreography that makes your fitness training seem more like a night out than a workout. But don’t let the fun nature of the workout fool you, Zumba classes give your entire body an intense workout in only an hour. You may even want to have a quick lay down in the nearest HydroMassage bed to soothe your soon to be achy muscles!
Founded in 1999 by Beto Perez, the Zumba workout actually began by mistake. After forgetting his regular music for the fitness class he led in Colombia, Perez led an impromptu “dance fitness” class using his favorite Latin music and accidentally created what was to become Zumba fitness. He found that everyone taking the class loved the free spirited nature of incorporating dance into the workout, and began seeing incredible results in their bodies, to boot.
Zumba Fitness is now offered in 185 countries, with over 14 million users. In addition to the workout itself, Zumba fitness has transformed into a lifestyle, a movement. The Zumba Empire now includes DVDs, original music collections, apparel and footwear, video games, interactive “Fitness-Concert” events, a quarterly lifestyle magazine and more.
What It Involves
Zumba classes are a one-hour, full body, cardio and toning workout. Class techniques range from interval training in order to sculpt and tone, to high-energy cardio sections designed to build up cardiovascular health, to targeted strength training movements that incorporate weights – all of which are, of course, set to fast-paced world music.
Benefits of Group Exercise
- Motivation – Instructors will make sure you’re participating to your full potential and make sure you’re getting what you paid for!
- Intensification – You are at the mercy of the instructor for a set amount of time. Most classes are go, go, go, and no other options. You can be confident that you’re going to leave having accomplished something.
- Camaraderie – Be social, watch others to learn and make sure you’re doing the motions correctly, and increase the “fun factor” of your workout. Working with a certified personal trainer is great, but isn’t a group setting always more fun?
- Interesting – Working out alone can get boring. Exercising within group classes takes the boredom out of the equation, especially when you switch up the kinds of classes you take each week.
- Value – Group classes give you a lot of bang for your buck if they are included in your gym membership, and won’t harm your wallet if you only take them a couple of times a week outside your gym.
Benefits of Zumba Classes
- Options – Zumba Fitness has something for everyone. There are options for every skill level and various different focuses, such as toning, cardio, circuit, aqua, and they even have a class for kids!
- Branded – The program contains specific sets of choreography, motions, and techniques for every workout. When you take a class, you’re always going to receive an incredible workout that targets every part of the body.
- Certification – All Zumba instructors must be certified by Zumba Fitness. When you take a class, you can be confident that the instructor will provide you with a world-class experience – every single time.
- Movement – Fanatics are a part of the Zumba movement. You feel like you’re a part of something special, and every class you complete is something to be proud of!
How Can You Get Started?
The only way to find out if you like it is to jump in and try it out for yourself! Call a local gym near you or look up a class schedule online to see if Zumba is included in a gym membership. Many fitness centers will include various high intensity cardio classes, like Zumba, which is one of the most motivating, fun ways to get in shape; that you can do with friends! What do you have to lose?