My girl Eryn Hall is taking over the blog today to share her top 10 reasons she loves Zumba – and why YOU should give it a try!
Do you Zumba? If you’ve never tried it or if you’re on the fence, if a friend has invited you or you’ve seen her glowing with sweat after class, if you’re wondering what’s there to love about Zumba, I’m here to share with you 10 things I love about Zumba- dance fitness classes that energetic, and make you feel amazing.
Community: Zumba is a group exercise – a fitness format of working out with other people. And while I tend to be an introvert, I love group exercise. Contrary to popular belief, group exercise is not a room full of people watching you or judging your dance moves. It’s a room full of people interested in getting a good work out, having fun, and doing something good for themselves. We’re from all different stages and places in life, there’s a nice range in ages and body types, and we’re all headed different directions after class. But after attending Zumba class regularly, a little community begins to form among us– those are my people. For an hour a day, we’re a team. If you’ve avoided the group exercise format, I want to encourage you to be brave and give it a try. Stand in the back of the room if you must, but get in there and see what all the hype is about. I can promise it’s more fun than the treadmill.
Dance: I was a dancer in high school and continued dancing in college. I LOVE to dance! After college, and other than dancing in my kitchen with a baby on my hip, I thought my dancing days were over. But then I tried my first Zumba class! It’s the perfect opportunity to learn choreography and dance again! That said, you don’t have to have any dance experience to enjoy Zumba. The aerobic dance format is easy to learn and the more you go, the better you’ll get! I’ve heard it said there are no wrong moves in Zumba, only solos!
“I think sometimes people get frustrated if dance steps get too intricate and complicated. But Zumba fitness leaves more room for interpretation. And it’s non-judgmental. You don’t have to move exactly like the instructor. It’s more like dancing in a club—people can just move the way they want.” -John Porcari, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science.
Cardio: Zumba is a great aerobic workout. My best friend wears a monitor on her wrist during Zumba and reports her calorie burn to me after class. It’s always near 1,000 calories per hour. Of course, this will depend on the Zumba instructor and vary for each person’s muscle mass, but there’s no denying Zumba is an excellent cardio workout. And if I’m going to burn 1,000 calories in an hour, please let it be by dancing with friends!
Muscle toning: From the outside looking in, Zumba might appear to be like a modern version of your mom’s Jazzercise. Well, look again, my friend. Those dance moves are making our muscles work! We’re squatting and lunging, jumping and crunching, and the results are lean, toned, and defined muscles. A good Zumba instructor will incorporate moves in his/her choreography designed to sculpt certain muscle groups, and disguise it as dance 😉
Variety: Zumba never gets old! There is so much variety from class to class and month to month. Instructors work hard to rotate their routines and regularly bring in new ones to keep the classes fresh and fun, yet providing enough time for everyone to learn the choreography to each song. And every instructor is different! One class that I go to is more hip hop, one is more Latin-inspired, and another is a mix with current pop hits. I like to tell Zumba newbies that no two Zumba classes are alike! There’s something for everyone’s style.
The Music: some of my favorite songs I first heard in a Zumba class! Latin, international beats, hip hop, Top 40 pop, party hits, and remixes- Zumba music is so diverse! Often I’ll hear a song in class and stay after to ask the instructor the name of the song because I liked it so much. Or I’ll hear a song on the radio that I heard in class and my body instinctively starts doing Zumba moves! The music in Zumba class sets the atmosphere to less like a workout and more like a party. I’ve compiled some of my favorite Zumba and dance songs here: ZUMBA/DANCE Spotify Playlist.
The Clothes: Confession- I’m a sucker for cute active wear. I especially like dance attire – fitted tanks, baggy pants, wild print leggings, hightop shoes, bold colors. I am a dancer at heart, and Zumba is a great excuse to dress the part! Zumba brand clothing is funky and adorable, but some of my favorite workout tanks are from Revelation Wellness, Sevenly, Persimmon Prints, and Target.
Socialization: I am a mom of two school-age kids, we homeschool, and I work from home. Basically, I’m with my kids all the time…except for the sixty minutes a day when I’m at Zumba! Zumba is my “me time” when I get to interact and socialize with other grownups. And with the music and fun atmosphere, those sixty minutes can feel like a girls night out! I have met some of my very best friends at the gym thanks to Zumba! Sometimes we meet for coffee before class, or lunch after class, or we linger on the dance floor to practice choreography. After some adult socialization and fun exercise with my people, I’m recharged and ready to take on the rest of the day in Mom-mode.
Accountability: Speaking of friends! One of the benefits of group exercise is accountability. When someone doesn’t show up to Zumba class, others are certain to ask “where were you?” And after Zumba each day, we say to one another “see you at class tomorrow!” People in class, the “regulars” and the instructors, genuinely care for one another and it keeps everyone accountable! Another accountability factor is my gym membership. I pay a monthly fee and I want to get the most out of it!
Parties and Zumbathons: Zumba people like to party! Gyms and instructors will regularly host Zumba theme parties to amp the hype and promote the format. A few instructors will team up to teach an extended class, maybe 2 or 3 hours, with a fun theme like “Glow Party” or “Beach Party,” and open the class to the public. It’s a lot of fun! Even better is a Zumbathon, when a few instructors host a party to support a cause. I have attended Zumbathons that have raised money for a woman battling breast cancer, for a family with a child with MS, and others. It’s amazing to be in a room full of people, dancing together, having fun and standing up for something good.
I’d love to know which of Eryn’s top 10 is your favorite, and if you’ve ever tried Zumba? If you haven’t, you can find a list of available classes here!
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