Zumba Fitness : A fun filled exercise for all age groups

Zumba Fitness : A fun filled exercise for all age groups

Zumba Fitness is a Latin-inspired cardio-dance workout that uses music and choreographed steps to form a fitness party atmosphere. While many of the types of dance and music featured in the program are Latin American inspired, classes can also contain everything from jazz to African beats to country to hip-hop and pop. Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves. Zumba routines incorporate interval training — alternating fast and slow rhythms — and resistance training.

An aerobic activity, Zumba can count toward the 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity recommended for most healthy adults. Aerobic exercise reduces health risks, keeps excess pounds at bay, strengthens your heart and boosts your mood. If you enjoy Zumba, you are also more likely to do it regularly — and experience its benefits as an aerobic exercise.

Where did Zumba originated?

The story of Zumba begins with an accident that seems too good to be true. Back in the ’90s in Colombia, dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez was teaching an aerobics class and he forgot his regular music. So he reached into his backpack and pulled out tapes of salsa and merengue. After finding initial success in Colombia, he moved to the United States in 2001, where he teamed up with cofounder Alberto Perlman and a childhood friend, COO Alberto Aghion. The trio produced a demo reel, and the concept was discovered and licensed by a company, Fitness Quest  to create a direct marketing campaign and a line of home videos.

Zumba combines high energy and motivating music with unique moves and combinations that allow the Zumba participants to dance away their worries. It is based on the principle that a workout should be ‘fun and enjoyable’ in order for Zumba participants to stick to the Zumba fitness program to achieve long-term health benefits. Zumba is not only great for the body, but it is also great for the mind. It is a ‘feel happy’ workout.

Benfefits of Zumba workout:

  1. It is a workout using dance steps that are easy to follow in a truly fun and party-like atmosphere. It can leave a person with a “feel good” sensation.
  2. It is a fantastic core workout. Zumba uses moves during the workout that target the abs and back to increase agility and strength as well as to tone & sculpt the torso.
  3. Zumba also has the potential to reshape all parts of the body, including the arms, hips, heart, and mind.
  4. Zumba is a great fat burning workout. Calories burned will differ from person to person depending on their fitness level and the intensity put forth. Calories burned during one hour of Zumba have been estimated to be anywhere from 500 to 850.
  5. This workout provides for a great sweat without even realizing you are exercising.
  6. People have reported losing weight doing Zumba, combined with a sensible and well-balanced nutrition plan; this combination can have astonishing results.
  7. Zumba also provides for great interval training.
  8. One can customize the dance moves.
  9. One need not to know the moves, move with group.

Some of the basic dance steps you will find in Zumba classes are:

Merengue : The Dominican Republic is usually credited as the origin of Merengue although Haiti and Santo Domingo fall in that category as well. It is faster pace rhythm. Common instruments are congo drums, accordion, and guiro. The most common move for the Merengue is the “basic march”.

Salsa: Salsa is a blend of many Carribean cultures and strongly influenced by Cuba, but made popular in New York and Florida as it is known today. Salsa had a very distinct beat and is usually a faster tempo.

Cumbia :The Cumbia is known as a rhythm from Columbia, South America, but holds influences from Africa and Europe. Cumbia is often associated with a tropical or creole flavor to the music.

Reggaeton: Reggaeton has Jamaican influences and was made popular in Puerto Rico and Panama. The music contains a heavy bass drum beat, with a primary instrument being a Reggae style drum. The most common move is the “ZUMBA hit” otherwise known as “crumping”.

Flamenco: Currently known as the rhythm from Andalusia in southern Spain with influences from Gypsy, Muslim and Jewish cultures. Flamenco is known fo the sounds of handclapping, finger snapping, tongue clicking, knuckle gashing, etc… In ZUMBA, some of the moves are related to the “picking of the grapes” for wine production. Much attitude is projected in the upper body movements.

Samba: Samba originates in Brazil. Samba is known for its sexy hip moving moves.It was and is danced as a festival dance during the street festivals and celebrations. First introduced in the U.S. in a Broadway play called “Street Carnival” in the late twenties. The festive style and mood of the dance has kept it alive and popular to this day. Samba is a fun dance that fits most of today’s popular music.

Bollywood moves: After the success of movie “Slumdog millionaire” world also realized that Bollywood moves are very effective for reducing  the weight. Zumba instructors often include bollywood songs and moves in Zumba classes. Some of the popular songs include : Jai ho, chamak challo, banggra moves and just our Indian drum beats ! Sometime one can see “namaste” gestures in the dance moves.

References:

1) http://zumbawithheather.blogspot.com/

2) http://www.ninefinestuff.com/

3) http://www.zumbawithhope.com/History_of_Zumba.html

 Image courtesy: http://ninefinestuff.com/

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