Wrong about Zumba before you start?

2013August25_Zumba_AEven if you’re not a fitness fanatic, the chances are that you’ve heard of Zumba. Who hasn’t! It’s the dance fitness party in a class mixed with aerobics and set to a Latin-inspired beat that has reinvigorated and revolutionized group exercise. However, if certain ideas are putting you off joining in the fitness fun or you’re unsure about what to expect then find out more and make sure that you’re not wrong about Zumba before you start.

┬áZumba is about a release of enthusiasm and energy, letting go of your inhibitions and really jumping into a class with a positive attitude and once you start you might find that you love it so much you don’t want the party to stop. To get you moving in the first place, make sure that you don’t have the wrong idea about Zumba from the get go, with these common misconceptions:

Dancing queen – Merengue, Bollywood and Salsa; Zumba is a veritable feast of dance fitness moves. You’ll shake your hips and move your feet in new and interesting dance styles but you don’t need to be a dancer to enjoy Zumba. It’s not about dance skills but about moving your body in a creative way for a fun workout.

Memory moves – The idea of choreographed moves can instill terror and trepidation in the aerobic phobic. Zumba routines create flowing movements which you will build on and practice without having to memorize lots of complex steps. Zumba is not a test but an experience and you follow your teacher the whole time.

The young ones – Let’s be clear. Zumba is for all ages and is not reserved for lycra clad youngster. Zumba gives you energy so don’t be exhausted by the sheer thought of it. However, being young at heart is definitely a bonus.

Are you fit enough? – Zumba is a cardiovascular workout and don’t be surprised that you will perspire a little and really feel that you’re working up some heat. However, it’s designed to be open to all fitness levels. You can go at your own pace in terms of the effort and energy you put into each move.

Ladies only! – It’s true that Zumba generally attracts women who often prefer the group workout environment. However, Zumba is a great way for men to lose some of their inhibitions and get in touch with themselves rather than take fitness too seriously. That’s not to say Zumba won’t get you really fit, it certainly can do, and it is probably a far more intense workout than men give it credit for.

Let go and lose focus! – The idea behind Zumba is to dance as if no-one is watching. So, after a short time you do lose your inhibitions and really let go. However, while it is great to loosen up and let your body flow, you do need to make sure that you practice a posture that isn’t hunched and that your knees are turned the right way. Be strong and engage muscles while keeping the knees relaxed when you come down from a jump.

Look the part – Trademarked Zumba gear is available but you don’t need to kit yourself out completely to join in. Wearing light and breathable clothes that offer support is ideal. You might want to wear some dance fitness shoes rather than go barefoot, you can even rely on a running shoe so that you can move around in different directions without being flat footed on the floor.

Zumba is about interaction and being part of a fitness community, so if you’re not sure about what to expect from a Zumba class then ask an instructor and get going in the right way.

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