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Dance your Worries Away: Different Types of Zumba Fitness Classes

Before you head to your first ever Zumba Fitness class, I think it’s important to learn about some of the different types of this dance fitness program, what they incorporate and who their audience tends to be.

• Zumba Gold®
This easy-to-follow and invigorating program targets dynamic older adults and people who have certain physical restrictions. It is also targeted for those recovering from an injury after gaining the consent of their treating physician. This dance-fitness class lets you move to the beat at your own speed and adjustments can be made if you want to take dancing a little bit easier.
A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine claimed that dancing at least twice a week helps reduce the risk of developing dementia. It is also scientifically proven that dancing helps improve memory skills, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and high blood pressure. Additionally, it can also strengthen your bones, tone your entire body, improve your posture, and increase your flexibility and stamina. So if you want to stay fit, happy, and healthy –you already know what you have to do…just look for a Zumba Gold class near you and immediately sign up!

• Zumba® Sentao
The explosive Zumba Sentao™ is a superb class which helps sculpt your muscles, strengthens your core, improves overall cardiovascular health, and burns lots of calories in the process. You may already know how sensual Zumba is and that’s the reason why you will need a partner, now imagine it with a chair! This program won’t only promise the benefits of a cardio workout but also the benefits of the toning class. You can expect to work your entire body as it is a full body work-out program.
The Zumba Sentao program is not just one of your ordinary dance fitness programs, you will perform on a chair, push-ups, tricep dips, leg lifts and a lot of dancing as well! This never-before-seen workout can change the way you feel about exercise. This program welcomes everyone of all ages, sizes and fitness levels as it can be modified and adapted for the individual. Since it tends to be more intense than a basic Zumba Fitness class, it is important to gain the approval of a physician in light of any potential physical restrictions before giving it a chance.

• Zumba® Step
Zumba® Step is perfect for those who want to feel the burn, tone and strengthen their legs and glutes. This is an awesome combination of the strengthening and toning power of Step aerobics, and the gravity-defying fitness-party that only Zumba® brings to the dance-floor. The revolutionary Zumba® Step program aims to bring your students the maximum lower body results while having the time of their lives.

• Zumba® Toning
Sculpt your body while having a total blast with Zumba® Toning as it is designed to enhance rhythm, tone your arms, abs and thighs. The Zumba® Gold/Toning is another type of Zumba class aimed at the Zumba® Gold population. This program has the combined benefits of Zumba Toning and Zumba Gold Classes. If you prefer a lower impact class, you need to try this one. The moves and choreography are based on combinations of rhythms such as reggaeton, merengue, tango, salsa, cumbia, belly dance and flamenco. Overall, Zumba Gold -Toning is a challenging and effective program that provides an exhilarating avenue for the active older adults.

Fueling UP Before a Zumba Workout

Many people might be thinking that to lose weight fast, they need to drastically limit their calorie intake, but starving yourself is not the most effective solution. Rather, opt for the healthiest weight loss approach. Dieticians and nutritionists agree, you have to eat to lose!
Eating and exercise go hand in hand. In achieving your desired body weight, nutrition is undeniably a part of the equation as exercise. That doesn’t mean that you need to arrive at the gym with a shopping bag full of fruits and energy drink, but that means that you need to diligently provide your body’s fueling needs for exercise. Help maximize your exercise performance by paying attention to your meals and snacks.
About an hour before a workout, opt for a combination of complex carbohydrates and protein to help boost your energy. Enjoy trying some good food choices and combinations like these:

  • Apple slices and peanut butter
  • Baked pita chips, grapes, and hummus
  • Oatmeal mixed with blueberries, cranberries and nuts
  • Chicken avocado salad stuffed pita
  • Scrambled egg on toast with orange slices
  • Cereals and milk
  • Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
  • Chicken sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Cheese crackers with cheese and tomatoes
  • Cheese crackers with peanut butter and a small fruit
  • A protein shake with some fruit
  • Protein energy bars
  • Yogurt smoothie

Remember that in order to maximize your workout, calories are a must. Don’t start your Zumba routine without consuming your pre workout meal. Provide your body the energy you need to give it your all.

 

 

Boost your Self-Confidence with ZUMBA

Have you ever noticed that every time we move our body well, our confidence and energy quickly soar? I can attest that many workouts can help add a person’s confidence.  Since the benefits incorporated in it such as losing weight and feeling better are additional factors in boosting our self-esteem.  However, Zumba dancing for me is incomparable with the other kinds of workout.  Zumba increases my confidence day by day.  As you might have noticed, I know a few things about Zumba, but you may haven’t thought of me as someone who is not comfortable with the entire idea of entering into a crowded room and dancing in front of people.
I can still clearly recall my first experience of joining a Zumba class.  I was feeling a little bit nervous and self-conscious during that time. I felt like I was not entirely sure of what I was doing, and I didn’t know what the moves were or how to follow along. However, I have found myself even before I’ve realized, smiling and sweating all throughout the class.
A lot of people experience a lot of fun in Zumba fitness classes, and it is also important to know that Zumba classes are also a great interval training workout.  Dancing Zumba regularly is a great way to burn calories and improve one’s fitness level, but also to make friends and have fun. What I wasn’t informed of was how much level of confidence I would gain once I became more comfortable with letting myself move without holding myself back in fear of “embarrassing myself”.  I am thankful to realize that most people didn’t care how many times you mess up. The only person who really cared was me.

 

Zumba Survival Tips

No matter what your personality is, sometimes that first ever Zumba class is a little intimidating. No worries, I’ve got your back. So here are my 6 helpful tips for surviving your first Zumba experience. Shake your way back into shape.

1. Comfy Clothes and Shoes

Invest in the proper workout gear. Expensive clothes are not required, but the right shoes are. Your feet will surely take a lot of impact, so pick the shoes which allows your feet to pivot easily, and have a smooth sole. Pick the sneakers that are ideal for dance fitness to be sure you have something with the proper traction.

2. Avoid the Last Row

If you’re self-conscious like me, you want to stay out of the way and prefer that no one’s eyeing you. But mind that many of the songs rotate, and if you start in the back, you’ll soon find yourself in the front row. Oh no! Especially, if it’s a big class, you’ll be struggling seeing the instructor. If the front of the pack is too overwhelming for you, join the middle row to have people surround you.

3. Stay Hydrated

You will sweat a lot. That’s for sure. So remind yourself to bring plenty of water. It is very important to drink a lot of water when working out to prevent injuries or other issues. When the body loses water and not enough is replenished, it causes headaches. It will also aid in flushing out all those toxins you just stirred up.

4. Nobody’s Watching You

The phrase “Dance like nobody is watching,” is the key to Zumba survival. Prevent yourself from worrying about the others. Trust me, no one cares whether you fail to keep up to the rhythm or coordination challenges. Everyone is completely absorbed in their own worlds trying to keep up and seeing themselves as the greatest and sexiest dance star. So don’t be afraid to give your 100% – no one will laugh (except maybe you!).

5. Don’t stress yourself

Zumba moves are fast and are might complicated at first since there is usually few or no instruction on the choreography ahead of time. Remind yourself that your main goal is not to achieve perfection, you are there because you deserve to have fun. If your feet are not quite right at first, don’t give up. Just keep your body moving and wiggle your hips as much as possible. That’s what really counts. You’ll get it eventually!

6. Be social

I know you may be nervous about attending a Zumba class for the first time. But Zumba survival experience is much more fun and meaningful once you lighten up and get to know the others in the class. Or consider about bringing a friend or a co-worker along to enjoy it with you. Being chummy with the others in class or bringing someone you already know helps motivate you to continue. If you can’t convince any friends to come with you, initiate a conversation with others by asking what their favorite songs are, or even showing each other your favorite moves.

 

Once you gain friends and acquaintances there, you’ll be much more eager to attend the next classes.

All About Zumba

A new fitness adventure might intimidate you at first. Intimidation, however, is not something you can find in a Zumba class. Ignore the “ifs and buts” -just sign up to get started. Join the world’s largest fitness party and let those fears go away.
Here are the things you might want to know before you go.
What is Zumba?
Zumba- dubbed as an exercise in disguise is a Latin inspired cardio-dance workout. It uses music and choreographed steps to create a fitness party atmosphere. Since its inception in the mid-’90s, Zumba dance program gained 10 million people across more than 110 countries according to its website.
What to expect in Zumba class?
This might be frustrating for first-timers but you will eventually get the hang of it after attending a few classes since the songs are played repeatedly. Most Zumba classes lasts for an hour. It starts with a dynamic warm-up and ends with some static stretching and a cool down. While most of the instructors use pre-choreographed dance moves by Zumba, some instructors often create their own dance steps to add or make an entirely new routine to their favorite songs.
Instructors don’t speak much during the class. Instead they cue you on using hand signals, or a loud hand clap that signifies that it’s time to switch to a new move. Overall, participants learn easily as they go by example and repetition.
Who can do Zumba?
Anyone! You don’t have to be a dancer to do Zumba. Men and women of all ages can join a Zumba class together. However, you might want to visit a Doctor or a health care provider for a check-up before trying a new exercise of any kind. Zumba is for anyone, dance experience or skills are not necessary. People of all ages, gender, shapes and sizes are encouraged to join classes. If you can manage shake your booty and enjoy music, this class is perfect for you.
What to wear?
Wear something which you normally wear for cardio style class such as pants, t-shirts or tank tops with sneakers that allow you to pivot your feet easily. It’s important to wear clothing that is breathable, moveable, and will wick sweat away. Also, consider dressing in layers that you can remove.
What to bring to a Zumba class?

Lots of water and a hand towel are a must. Also consider bringing a post-workout protein snack for helping your body replenish its lost energy. Take a heart rate monitor with you if you want to see exactly how hard you’re working.

 


Where to do Zumba?
You can join Zumba classes at Knights of Columbus, 106 Bergen Avenue in Ridgefield Park every Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm. You can also buy some DVDs if you want to do Zumba at home, but I highly encourage you and your friends to join a group class because it can help make the experience extra-awesome.
See you there!