Zumba is a fitness program that has gained tremendous amount of popularity particularly in the last decade among people of all ages. It includes elements of dance and aerobics and is designed around Latin music while the workout or exercise movements are based on salsa, samba, hip-hop etc, even Bollywood and belly dancing. Squats, lunges and push-ups are also commonly included in the routine, which varies from instructor to instructor.
The roots of Zumba go back to early 1990s when it all began by Alberto “Beto” Perez in Columbia, who later introduced it in United States. Since then, it has only become a craze that is only increasing by the day. A decade later, we now have more than 5 million people taking part in a class every week and over 30,000 certified instructors worldwide.
Zumba workouts are usually an hour-long fitness exercise routines under the supervision of a licensed instructor. While participants in the group follow the instructor as he/she constantly demonstrates the steps, the class and the exercises are usually set up in such a way that one can decrease or tone up the intensity based on one’s own stamina or capabilities. Typically it is common to burn somewhere around 500-1000 calories in this hour long workout, which varies tremendously depending on one’s body weight and also on the level of exertion you stretch yourself into. While it is safe for all ages, and does not require any specialized equipment or machinery, over a period of time, there have been several extensions of Zumba, each having its own slight variation. Some of these include Aqua Zumba which is performed in water, Zumba gold that targets the needs of older people, Zumba toning involves working out with toning sticks and basically targets abs, thighs, arms and strengthening the core, Circuit Zumba is zumba combined with circuit training. What is common among all of these is that a zumba routine focuses on all parts of the body over an hour, including proper stretching and warming up plus a cool down set towards the end, which overall helps in building strength, posture, stamina and at the same time is a fun workout as you swing to the beats of your favorite music.
Zumba has now become popular across many countries, and as the commercialization has increased, Zumba DVD’s, zumba specific apparels, props etc have become very common. It is also now endorsed by many celebrities; Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Tony Braxton to name a few.
While no workout can be the perfect or ideal workout, it depends on one’s individual needs and their personal goals. A zumba workout however, certainly has all the elements most people go for and at the same time, it may be one of the few workouts that you can actually have fun while you sweat it out. The usual trend is for Zumba to be more popular among women, both young and old though a lot of guys don’t hesitate to be a part of this fun workout fitness party that is nothing short of being downright addictive.