New Year's Resolution #2: Exercise More!
When people ask about my fitness routine, I usually say that I eat well, work out 5 days a week, and walk or bike whenever possible. All of these things are true. But besides choosing to walk instead of drive, if there were one thing that I can thank for keeping me in shape, it would be…
Yessir, that Zumba. The Latin American dance-fitness craze that rose in the early aughts, favors songs by Ricky Martin and Shakira and eventually became popular with celebrities but also housewives everywhere. While most of my friends are busy practicing their Warrior II pose or racing the treadmill at Barry’s Bootcamp, I’m shaking my tush all over the gym floor to Despacito (and dozens of other songs I would never otherwise recognize). Most types of Yoga upset my sensitive back and knees and Barry’s makes me hate life; but Zumba makes me laugh, woop and holler while burning up to 650 calories in a one hour class.
WHY I LOVE ZUMBA
The dance moves are easy to learn, but physically challenging.
So even the most uncoordinated among us (ahem, me) can pick it up quickly and dive into the routine. That means less time wasted just trying to follow along.
It takes the work, out of workout.
At full throttle, I can burn around 600 calories in a one hour class. Although I sweat like a maniac and feel it in my muscles the next day, I’m rarely ready for class to end. I look forward to it so much that I’ve been known to schedule my social life around my class schedule. “Sorry babe, I have Zumba at 8:30 tomorrow morning, can we do date-night Thursday instead?”
It varies by location, but the Zumba classes at LA Fitness draw a huge crowd of men and women across all cultures, ages and body types. A SoulCycle class full of pretty people is great (seriously, I love SoulCycle too) but I get so much delight from joining the wide cast of characters unabashedly dancing their faces off. It's nice to get out of your peer zone sometimes, ya know?
It may sound cheesy to some, but even watching dance performed has always captured my attention in ways that I can’t quite explain. When I’m home alone, I dance. When I’m in the grocery store, I dance. Zumba is a way to tap into that primal need to MOVE! Ergo; Zumba brings me joy.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT ZUMBA
Not all Classes Are Created Equal.
I cannot stress this one enough. I’ve been to classes all over New York and Los Angeles and some can be totally lame. I find that the most energetic and intense instructors tend to be Latin American. Go figure. So if I see “Brad” vs “Gabriella” on a class schedule, I’m goin’ for Gabby.
Way More Than Cardio.
Yes, your heart will be pumping, you’ll sweat like crazy, and you'll burn calories out the wazoo. But you’re also squatting, lunging, kicking, punching and hoola-hooping your core, butt and arms into shape all at the same time.
So if you your fitness routine for 2018 needs a little excitement... My advice is to get out there and DANCE!