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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Zumba Schumba! Then I Tried It

When new fitness fads take over and everybody flocks toward them, I usually roll my eyes and say, "Here we go again."

So when the increasingly popular Zumba started to take over the world -- well, the fitness world, anyway -- all I could think was "Zumba schumba." Yup. That's been my attitude for the last few years. But this time, rather than flat out dismiss the growing trend, I decided to give it a try.

I've always had a negative opinion about fitness fads because there are no miracle solutions for weight loss. It doesn't work like that. But there are lots of people who think it does and fads often take advantage of them.

It doesn't matter what the latest new thing is that's generating all the buzz it's highly unlikely to get you in shape by itself.

Some fads could be a valuable part of an overall fitness program. Others are just crap. But to have success, any exercise plan needs to be complete (resistance training, cardio and flexibility), done consistently and include a nutrition plan.

I decided to re-think my position on Zumba when a friend suggested that I look into teaching a Zumba class because she thought I'd be good at it.

My instant response was "I don't do Zumba."

Later that night, I thought back to that conversation and my response, which on further consideration sounded very arrogant, as if I was somehow above the dance class. That didn't sit well with me. Right then and there I decided to give it a try -- you know, just to see what it was all about.

I got another friend to tag along. She hadn't ever done it either.

We had to get on a wait-list to even get into the darn class. After that, we got our little passes and walked into a room full of about 50 women -- and I think I saw one guy. The gal at the door collected our passes, and I thought, "Wow. They aren't playin'."

The class started off a little dry, fueling my doubts. But I quickly realized that was just the warm-up. At about 30 minutes into the hour workout, my opinion had swayed.

I liked it!

I was having fun and working up a good sweat. And the variety of dance steps from the salsa to the samba to hip hop moves definitely got my heart rate up.

Some steps were a little hard to get. With a full class, seeing the instructor the whole time was a little difficult. Luckily, the salsa class I took a few years back and being familiar with aerobic style choreography helped me get the steps pretty quickly. And having been a member of my high school's dance team didn't hurt either. My friend said she did fine, too.  

OK, so my opinion of Zumba has changed. I think it's great way to get in some cardio. After the class my face was red and my light gray tank had turned a dark gray -- signs of a good workout.

If you add Zumba to a regular strength training program and a healthy diet you'll be able to get fit.

Now here's where it gets tricky.

Yes, Zumba is a good form of cardio. But one class is only an hour. If you're trying to lose weight, doing the class once a week is not enough. You'll need more cardio and don't forget to add in strength training and flexibility components. And, of course, follow a healthy meal plan.

Do that and you'll see progress. But by itself, the hottest trend isn't enough.

2 comments:

Jane Goldenarms said...

What's that, Tiff? You might like it or be good at it! AH HAH!

TrainerTiff said...

Lol, I know right! I NEVER thought I would like it, but did. And I'll be going back!