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Zumba: Dancing with the stars ... in the gym
Zumba is a Latin-dance-inspired aerobic exercise class that is all about having fun, says originator Beto Perez – more fun because you're not counting steps or having to execute precise moves.
With sexy motivational music playing, you mimic the instructor as she does the rumba, flamenco, mambo and other dance steps. The class is structured so there are fast and slow rhythms – an upbeat meringue might be followed by a slower, African-influenced cumbia and then a hip-gyrating salsa. Perez started Zumba in his native Columbia in the early 1990s when he forgot his regular fitness class music and improvised with his own Latin music tapes.
• Easy to follow
• A feel-good workout for anyone who likes to dance
• Burns an impressive 500 to 1,000 calories an hour
• Training this way (fast/slow intervals) builds endurance. During the slower dance sequences your body can recover – so you can push yourself again when a faster song comes on
• Tones and sculpts the body
• Low impact
• You may become more relaxed when dancing at parties
What you need:
• Loose, comfortable clothing, as well as dance-fitness shoes, which provide lateral and
vertical support, but not too much traction – you'll need to slide for some of the dance moves.
Where/how to get started:
There are more than 500 Zumba instructors in Canada, and classes are held at community
centres, dance studios and fitness clubs. Find Zumba instructors and classes at
www.zumba.com. Average class fees start at about $9.
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