Zumba is one of the most popular modern fitness trends to hit Ireland. Most major gyms now offer classes in what has been decribed as ‘a fitness dance exercise program that keeps everyone motivated by creating a party like atmosphere’. Created by celebrity fitness instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez in the mid 90s, it has since taken the world by storm offering a fun work out that combines Columbian, salsa, meringue and samba dance moves.
Beto is said to have happened upon the discovery of a fitness programme based around Latin music when he forgot to bring his usual aerobics music to a class one day. Having to make do with the music he had in his car, and with some last minute improvisation, he took the first steps to developing what has become an international fitness craze.
Zumba is suitable for people of any age or size. The fun atmosphere created by the music and dance moves help participants to step away from their inhibitions and become lost in the beat of the music. However, it is not just about the party atmosphere. Depending on weight and level of exertion, an hour-long class can burn between 500 and 1000 calories. It has been compared with running and jogging in its ability to burn calories but is said to promote even better muscle tone and agility.
It is recommended that new comers to Zumba start slowly and ask instructors to start them out with just a few basic steps. It is also important to wear good, supportive footwear and stay hydrated throughout the class.
This combination of enjoyable classes and impressive weight loss and body toning benefits, Zumba is growing steadily more popular. You can now buy Zumba video games for the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii as well as DVDs and CDs. Most gyms now offer classes from trained Zumba instructors, so what are you waiting for? As the slogan goes: ditch the workout, join the party!