Zumba And All That Pizzazz

So youre eager to lose weight, but not all that jazzed about sweating it out in a gym or fitness center. Well, maybe a little jazz is just what the doctor ordered a la an amazing fitness regimen called Zumba.

Zumba is a lively blend of continental African, African-American, Caribbean, Spanish, Latin, and Mexican dance rhythms - hip hop, jazz, mambo, flamenco, cumbia, tango, cha-cha, soca, merengue, salsa, and samba. It combines aerobic lunges, squats, and twists, with dance floor wiggles, jiggles, and shakes. Its a delicious cultural bouillabaisse that doesnt land on your hips. In fact, if you do it often enough, itll shrink your hips, tighten your glutes, and transform your whole body.

Zumba Is For Gym-O-Phobes

Zumba is the clever creation of Colombian American dancer and choreographer Alberto Beto Perez, who had a brainwave in the 1990s about how to make workouts more palatable and effective. Since then, that wave of inspiration has swept the nation and beyond with more than four million Zumba fans and 25,000 teachers in 40 countries around the globe. Now instead of having to schlep to your local gym, you can zip into a neighborhood studio or dance club - or your own bedroom - and Zumba your way to a whole new you.

Zumba Is For Everybody

Looking for something you could do with your granny and your toddler that isnt embarrassing and frustrating? Zumba bridges generation gaps. Years of perfecting and tweaking have resulted in a Zumba routine for everyone.

Zumba Kids and Zumbatonics serve children from 4 to 12. Zumba Toning uses toning sticks and targets your abs, arms, thighs, and other muscle groups. Zumba Step for tighter glutes includes step aerobics. Theres even a routine called Zumba In The Circuit, which combines circuit training with dance.

Zumba Gold is a baby boomers delight. It can be modified for you to sit, if your knees are achy like mine. But while its easy on your knees, it challenges and delights you just like any other Zumba workout. The music is just as electrifying and the energy you expend results in a rigorous workout. It will improve your posture, strength, balance, and range of motion.

Also great for those of us with wonky knees is Aqua Zumba. Never imagined I could actually work up a sweat while in a swimming pool! Check out your local aquatic center for their schedule of classes.

Zumba Is A Full-Service Miracle

Zumba defies the morbid conviction that you cant lose weight, get fit, and have fun at the same time. Each dance routine is a cardiovascular workout that will increase your aerobic threshold and your bone density.

Itll help you reduce your body fat, relieve stress, and boost your mood along with your metabolism. In fact, a California study found that some Zumba participants burn between 800 and 1,000 calories an hour!

Imagine losing weight, lowering your blood pressure, and toning and tightening your abs while those endorphins flow through your system like synchronized swimmers. Bliss!

Zumba Revs Up Your Self-Esteem

It replaces the work in workouts with riotous fun, so its also great for your mental health. And you dont actually have to know how to dance to move to the music. Before you know it, youre lost in the swirl of pulsating rhythms, discovering the joy of movement like never before, and learning to like yourself more in the process. And

the music motivates you to get moving and keep moving, so youll want to keep coming to classes and keep dancing, and youll be less likely to stop your exercise routine.

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