Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Zumba! Latin Workout Burns Calories, Promotes Fun

“Horns blare, drums pound, timbales keep time while 40 women shake, shimmy and swivel in unison. Whoops and hollers ring out as a petite redhead with the best abs on the planet leads the women through the salsa, cumbia, cha-cha, samba, mambo and merengue. It's 8 a.m. at the Total Woman gym in Mission Viejo, and there's a dance party going on. Welcome to Zumba, a Latin dance workout with a growing legion of fans in Orange County. Zumba, the brainchild of a Colombian fitness instructor, is the multicultural answer to Jane Fonda-style aerobics; the Latin dance alternative to pop-driven Jazzercise. ‘I like Zumba because it is a fun workout,’ says Lisa Bergfeld, 51, of Trabuco Canyon, who does Zumba a couple times a week. ‘The best thing about Zumba is that it is a great cardio workout that works your entire body without you feeling that you are working out.’ At the beginning of each class, instructor Dee Steelsmith – possessor of the planet's best abs – asks ‘is there anyone new to Zumba for the first time? Any first-timers?’ And just about every day, the answer is yes. Zumba is part of a growing trend of group dance classes hitting Orange County gyms and sports clubs. Perhaps fueled by the popularity of TV shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing With The Stars," sports club managers and fitness experts say they are seeing more and more people attending such classes. International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association said dance classes have steadily expanded among its 9,400 member clubs. A census by the organization found that 1,017 of its clubs had dance programming in 2008, compared with 749 in 2002 and 603 in 2001, according to a New York Times article on Zumba in July 2008. Carol Gourlay, area group exercise manager for central and north Orange County for 24 Hour Fitness, sees the same trend. ‘(Zumba) classes have grown. There is a lot more member traffic in all of our classes due to the economy to relieve stress; dance exercises are doable; anybody can do them. It doesn't matter what fitness level you are at; anybody can follow it and it's more interesting than walking on a treadmill,’ Gourlay said. ‘Getting fit usually implies a need for losing weight in combination with a strengthening program,’ said Dr. David Kruse, Assistant Clinical Professor, Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine, Department of Family Medicine & Orthopedics at UC Irvine. ‘So if a person can find a way of exercising that is efficient, creates the aerobic demand needed for burning calories, develops strength and stability, and at the same time is enjoyable, this is ideal. That blend can be found in many forms of exercise, depending on personal need and choice, but many individuals have found that combination in Zumba.’”

1 comment:

aptitudefit said...

Thanks for sharing with us great blog about fitness center.
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