Exercise That’s Not Exercise

I have finally found it–exercise that does not feel like exercise. I’ve experienced this Holy Grail of cardio twice now, and I have loved it both times. What is this I am talking about?

ZUMBA.

Have you heard of Zumba? I’m a little late jumping on the Zumba bandwagon, but in case you don’t know what it is, here’s a little blurb from the Zumba website:

The Zumba® program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away. Our goal is simple: We want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked. Zumba® Fanatics achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life!

The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. Add some Latin flavor and international zest into the mix and you’ve got a Zumba® class!

Does that not sound FUN? I had heard about Zumba for quite some time but didn’t know of classes in my area that weren’t at a gym. Then my friend found a class and invited me to go, so we did. I was slightly nervous about looking ridiculous because my dance experience has pretty much been limited to the occasional solo living room dance party, but I needn’t have worried. The people in the class were all different shapes and sizes, and everyone danced with their own style. I had an absolute blast, and the best part is that Zumba really is not just fun; it’s a fantastic workout that uses a lot of different muscles.

I went to my second class on Monday, and this class was even better than the first. There was a different instructor, and I liked the way she conducted her class a lot better. There were probably 60-70 people in the class, which made it a little challenging to see the instructor, but I managed to find someone a few rows in front of me who looked like she knew what she was doing, so I just watched her when I couldn’t see the instructor.

Here’s a tip if you try a class: try to get near the front. I know that I wanted to be near the back my first time because I didn’t want everyone to see me looking a fool, but it’s so much easy to follow along with the moves if you are near the front. Plus, there’s just not time for people to be staring at you while you dance because everyone is so focused on their own workout.

I am hoping to go again next Monday with some friends, and I would encourage you to try it if you’re looking for a fun workout. The classes I’ve gone to have been $5/class, but I’m not sure if the price varies by instructor or region. To see if there are any classes near you, click here.

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