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About Zumba to lose weight? You may laugh… but it’s true! Yes, you can lose weight just by dancing…Zumba. And I’m not the one saying it! A lot of people are reporting weight-loss successes thanks to dance in general. So much so that the market for dance classes has “exploded” lately. And to think that people can’t find the time to do much else: Zumba… seriously?
How can this out-of-nowhere dance save you from long, tedious lipo sessions or the drudgery of taking pills all day long? Is Zumba the only dance for losing weight, or are there others out there? Hit the dance floor!
Zumba for slimming seems to be the latest craze in the slimming field, and many people are already starting to wonder. Could it just be a marketing ploy to boost box office takings and sales of skin-tight sportswear, sneakers and espadrilles? We’ve decided to go on an adventure to help you make up your own mind.
Zumba is a pretty complete physical training program, as it brings together all the ingredients needed to get back into shape. Muscular preparation, cardio and flexibility are all part of the equation. Many Zumba enthusiasts report a renewed sense of energy and well-being after each session.
It all began with Beto Perez (Beto is short for Alberto, see photo right), a fitness instructor in his hometown of Cali, Colombia. That day, while rummaging through his training bag, he realized that he’d left at home the usual CD of tonic music he used to liven up his sessions. Running out of ideas, he decided to turn to another piece of music he had on hand: a mix of salsa and merengue that he loved, but at home!
“Today’s class will be a little different!” he announced to his students before starting the session.
The result? A great improvisation that quickly turned into a whole new dance fitness trend! Let’s take this opportunity to remind ourselves that most of the beautiful and useful things that surround us are born in the same way: by serendipity!
Today, this adventure is crowned by a company called Zumba Fitness LLC. Over the years, Alberto Perez has joined forces with two other Albertos (really anecdotal!), Alberto Perlman and Alberto Alghion, to transform the whole thing into a successful company that continues to promote this discipline combining fitness and dance.
It’s said that practising this activity can burn between 500 and 1,000 calories an hour! A real boon, especially when you consider that this weight loss is all in good fun!
Zumba is both motivating and fun. It’s a truly complete cardiovascular workout that focuses on breathing, endurance and muscle tone. As an added bonus, Zumba is a real outlet after a stressful day. Here are the various benefits of this weight-loss dance:
Like jogging, cycling, elliptical training and other sports exercises, Zumba is characterized by alternating fast-paced movements with calmer moments. It’s a great workout for the cardiovascular system. The metabolism is boosted, and fat goes up in smoke and, above all, sweat.
But you’ll need to do it regularly enough to get good results. We’re talking about at least two Zumba sessions a week.
Zumba strengthens every muscle in the body. The choreographed moves target virtually every muscle in the body, with an emphasis on the lower body. As a result, abs, glutes, calves and arm muscles are all given a workout, and the results speak for themselves.
After a hard day at work, or before going to bed, Zumba for weight loss is a great option. Thanks to the upbeat music provided by Zumba coaches, your body gradually releases its stress and forgets itself in joyful, festive sequences – and in a group! Yes, let’s say it’s good group therapy where you’re not ashamed to participate: it’s not like Alcoholics Anonymous!
Thanks to the well-studied choreography, this is a new kind of attention-grabbing activity. The movements are counted and follow a certain order, coordinated into fast moments alternating with slow ones. The result is a real “intellectual gymnastics” for the brain. In this way, Zumba promotes both gestural and auditory memory, reinforcing work on the brain-body pair and improving receptiveness, harmony and quick thinking.
A Zumba session or class normally lasts 45 to 60 minutes. It begins with a warm-up (5 to 15 minutes) to prepare the body for the sequences that follow. The Zumba choreographies, performed by an experienced coach and imitated by the “students”, are based on a strategy known as “split training”. In short, this involves a sequence of aerobic and muscular fitness exercises, divided into fast or intense periods followed by calmer ones. At the end of the session, one or two songs are an opportunity to gently return to calm with stretching.
IMPORTANT Don’t forget to keep your water bottle close at hand! Zumba is an activity that pushes the body to exert itself and therefore to sweat more. So make sure you’re properly hydrated.
What a question! Everyone, of course! Several Zumba “sub-disciplines” have been devised and invented, to vary the benefits but above all to meet all needs:
In addition to sessions for adults, there are also sessions for older children (Zumba Gold) and for younger children aged 4 to 11 (Zumba Kids). And did you know? Even babies aged 0 to 3 have a right to it: the Zumbini!
Prices are more or less in line, as you’ll pay an average of 15 € per one-hour session. On the official ZumbaFrance website, sliding scale prices range from 15.00 € à 12,00 € per class. That sounds about right for such a useful and enjoyable activity!
But you can also choose to do it at home!
Yes, there are several ways to do it at home:
So, let’s get started…?