The Zumba craze: Is shakin’ your booty a healthy exercise?
First of all, let's get the obvious out of the way: what the heck is zumba? Zumba is the latest fitness craze that's sweeping the whole world. It combines aerobics with Latin dance to get something more like a party than a workout session. Created in the ‘90s by dancer and choreographer, Alberto Perez, who improvised a workout routine from salsa and meringue music when he forgot his usual aerobic music tape. It was a hit and it only went uphill from there.
The big question is, is it really worth it? In a world with dime-a-dozen fitness regimes and weight-loss plans, what makes zumba different from the rest?
First of all, there's the energy factor. A zumba class usually takes an hour and incorporates elements from several dance disciplines: salsa, merengue, reggaeton, cumbia, and others. As anyone who has been in a dance class could attest, this alone can burn a lot of calories. All of this movement is set to high-energy Latin beats. Composed of simple repeated movements, it encourages participants to just go with the music. With a monthly routine change, a zumba session can be refreshing for those doing the same old exercises. Zumba also had different classes aimed at different demographics; Zumba Gold for the older set, while Zumbatonic is available for the young ones, ranging from four to twelve.
Secondly, zumba is a low-impact high-intensity workout. Zumba practitioners can expect to burn off over six hundred calories in a single workout. Zumba's focus on shifting from high and low intensity movements means that participants can expect to keep going and not expect a burnout. Being low-impact means that injuries have a low chance of happening, something that other workouts cannot say.
Finally, zumba doesn't need anything fancy. A pair of simple dance shoes can have you dancing on the floor in no time. Just keep in mind that you need a licensed zumba instructor to get the most out of your workout.