I've decided that I'm going to try this. It looks fun!!! My kids ask me, "How were you so skinny, when you got married?" I tell them that I danced my booty off at clubs, every night! So I know that this has to work.
Who wants to take the Zumba Challenge with me?
Also, my girls LOVE the wii Just Dance game. They come out sweating!!! That's going to be my workout, today.
Zumba — What's Shakin'?
Article By: Mary Elizabeth Hurn
If you haven’t heard of Zumba, the Latin music dance workout, it’s time to step it up and check it out. Take one look at the Weight Watchers Community and you'll see that more and more Weight Watchers members are discovering that Zumba is an effective and — most importantly — fun way to burn calories and collect activity POINTS® values.
Typically an hour long, a Zumba class typically combines salsa, hip hop, samba, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton and belly dancing moves and is customizable for men and women at all fitness levels. For example, if you’re more advanced you could add a turn or a hop to a particular move. Unlike traditional step and aerobics classes, there’s no choreography to remember, so don’t be nervous if you’re not a trained dancer. The instructor just changes from doing one step over and over to another step, so the class has a fluid progression. Zumba enthusiasts stress that a typical class doesn’t feel like a workout at all, but a dance party.
Zumba routines include interval training with both fast and slow rhythms. Classes also use resistance training to tone muscles while burning fat.
You can also try a Zumba Toning class which uses toning sticks, 2.5 pound weights that double as maracas to up the fun (and muscle building) level.
Basic Zumba steps
The Merengue March: A basic Latin dance step where you’re essentially walking in place while moving your hips a little right to left. Your arms are about even with your chest and bent at the elbows about 90 degrees.
The Booty Circle: Exactly what it sounds like, you move your hips in a circular motion along to the beat of the music.
The Andale: Take a step with your left foot and bring your right knee up with a small hop. Step backwards on to your right foot and do a small kick backwards with your left foot. Repeat. Then start with your right foot.
The Reggaeton Stomp: with your feet together and your torso bent slightly forward, you just alternate stomping each foot slightly in front of you: left, right, left, left; right, left, right, right.
Meet a Zumaholic
Anita Sado, a self-proclaimed “Zumbaholic” and a Weight Watchers Leader says the class works almost all of the body’s muscle groups. “You definitely work your core and your booty. You’ll also feel it in your upper arms, shoulders, across your chest and in your quadriceps.”
“The whole idea is that you’re not thinking about working out while you’re taking class,” says Alberto Perlman, CEO and co-founder of Zumba Fitness. “You feel like you’re in a nightclub, so Zumba is perfect for those who typically don’t get excited about working out.”
Zumba was started by chance more than 10 years ago by Beto Perez, an aerobics instructor in Miami, FL. One day he arrived at the gym and realized he’d forgotten the music he typically used to teach. So he went out to his car and grabbed his personal collection — salsa and merengue. The class focused more on freestyle dance than set choreography, which had the class members asking to do the same type of class the following week. The rest, as they say, is history.
The class spread like wildfire and is now available at more than 50,000 locations in 75 countries around the world. In the US, you can find Zumba classes at many 24 Hour Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, Equinox, Town Sports, YMCA and Gold’s Gym locations.
Jill Bennett-Weiss lost weight combining Weight Watchers and Zumba. “It’s so fun and liberating to be able to shake your butt,” she says. “You’re made to think that only skinny beautiful people can do it, but seeing all ages and sizes in the class is very encouraging.”Say goodbye to shy
If you’re intimidated by Zumba, don’t be. Maria McCalister, a long-time Zumba instructor, says you have to go to a few classes before you really get the hang of it. “I have students who started out shy and a bit awkward who have transformed into totally different people. Plus, you have to remember the other people in the class are watching me, they’re not watching you.”
She also says it’s key to remember that everyone at one time or another had their first class, too. “You’re all there for the same reason,” Bennett-Weiss says.
Sado agrees. “You need to trust that you’re in a safe place, as safe as a Weight Watchers meeting. But you have to have the attitude that you’re doing it for you and you’re doing it to have fun.”
Gyms can pick their own pricing model for the class (either offer it free, or for a fee).
You can find a class at zumba.com