Zumba. A dance fad or fitness revolution? In the last year or so Australians have embraced the Zumba craze and each week turn up to their local recreation centre for an hour or more of intense exercise or “dancercise.” What’s the appeal you may ask? Besides from the lure of an authentic South American instructor, Zumba is a fast, fun and entertaining dance party. A far cry from a monotonous run on the treadmill.
I was sceptical at first of the benefits of Zumba, I’m sure you have all the seen the ads on TV where toned men and women exhort the values of Zumba when it’s obvious they’ve never had weight issues in their life. However, attend a class or buy the DVD and you won’t be disappointed. Zumba really does target all areas of the body; legs, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms and abs. And whilst you won’t develop a 6-pack overnight, you’ll certainly notice the benefits after just a few sessions.
Let me set the scene of a typical Zumba class. The rhythmic Latin music with heavy bass is pumping, about 16 women and the occasional man are closely following the instructor’s every move (some with greater success than others) and there is the occasional chanting of ole, ole, ole to make sure we’re all concentrating and not looking at ourselves in the mirror.
Throughout a class you may do 10 Zumba routines, of varying difficulty plus a warm up and warm down. To those of you who snigger at Zumba, believe me after an hour you will be sweating and hopefully converted to this fitness program like I was.
Developed by Colombian Alberto Perez in the mid 1990s, Zumba is one of the most popular fitness programs worldwide. Each week over 5 million people participate in Zumba classes across 75 countries. This is no dance craze; it really is a fitness revolution.
The best thing about Zumba is women and men of all ages are giving it a go and at a time when the obesity epidemic is seemingly getting the better of us this has to be good thing. So in the words of a Zumba convert, get down to your local rec centre and work on getting your own Zumba body because this is no fitness fad.