Zumba Fitness

Published On: October 21, 2016 07:25 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

KATHMANDU, Oct 21: Zumba, an infusion of Latin-style dance that has taken the fitness world by storm, incorporates hip shaking, loud music and complete freedom from inhibitions. Workouts don’t need to be a chore anymore.

Instead, it can be transformed into a fun and social dance party with fast and contagious music. Zumba classes provide a large calorie burn through aerobic activity done with interval training where the average person will burn around 600 to 1,000 calories in a single hour- long Zumba class. Along with full body workout, improved coordination, it helps you get hooked on exercise and the major perk is that everyone, regardless of their age, can take up this super fun workout.

Here, Renisha Bista, a certified Zumba Instructor, guides us through some basics of Zumba. For Renisha, dance has always been her favorite form of exercise and she feels there is a certain sense of empowerment in dancing. And when dance can burn serious calories and get you in shape, there can be nothing like it.

Some things to keep in mind while attending Zumba classes.
Always bring a bottle of water, and don’t eat any solid food two hours before the class. Wear comfortable sports shoes (but not converse). Wear clothes that you are comfortable in, and fit you well so that you can do Zumba with high energy. New students might want to reach class a few minutes early and let their instructor know it’s their first time so that the instructor can instruct them accordingly. “I break down the steps into easy form and explain it if there are new people in class and I know many instructors will do the same,” she says. Most new students prefer to hide at the back but it is better if they stay at front and close to the mirrors as they shall be able to see more clearly and get a hang of the new steps more easily.

Can a person with a bad coordination participate in Zumba?
Even if you think you have two left feet you should definitely try Zumba because you will get used to it after a few classes. It is only a little tough in the beginning. Bad Coordination is not a problem in Zumba. After you take two to three classes with the same instructor you will be more confident and the coordination is automatically synced with the instructors. In Zumba, it’s not about the coordination but about the awkwardness you feel to let go. Therefore it’s important that a person who wants to do Zumba should not feel awkward when he/she signs up for class. Let go of your inhibitions and just move. There is no right and wrong here. Just feel the music and dance.

How can Zumba help in maintaining a good physical and mental health?
You have to try Zumba to see how it can lift your spirits. The high intensity workout will burn a good amount of calories and leave you feeling good. Not only that, many people say that they feel invigorated and recharged after class. The cool down session at the end involves a fair amount of stretching and helps in calming you down and making you feel relaxed and at peace with yourself. It’s a good form of workout that feels less like workout and more like instant therapy.

What is the ideal diet for someone doing Zumba?
I have always been against dieting. People have a misconception about dieting which makes them think that it helps you lose weight. Rather than focusing on this, people should eat on a time-to-time basis and avoid food with high content of fat and carbohydrate. I also advise my clients to drink hot water with lemon and honey every morning which helps you start the day fresh and healthy. The rule of the thumb here, however, is to avoid food two hours before a Zumba class and eat light foods like salads or a protein rich dinner after class.

What are the results that we can expect from Zumba?
Weight loss is a guarantee if you are regular with classes. Three to four times a week is good enough for this. Not only that, Zumba helps tone your body as well which contributes to a fit and strong looking physique. It also acquaints you with different forms of dance. The high-and low-intensity intervals make Zumba an excellent cardio workout. Traditional Zumba workouts emphasize strengthening the core, while Zumba Toning and Zumba Step Workouts incorporate weights to build muscles in the arms, legs, and glutes.

How often should we take Zumba classes?
When you start it’s better to attend class twice a week to let you body get accustomed to the new routine. Once you start to build your strength and endurance, you can add more days and do it three to four/five times a week depending on your requirement. Many people tend to get over excited and attend class without a break. That’s not good for your body. You have to take rest days in between. Like any other fitness program though, it’s best to create a balance with other forms of exercises as well.

If you have any questions for Renisha, write to us at theweek@myrepublica.com with the subject line Zumba Fitness.

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