Jonna Z Heats up the Dance Floor

February 01

For this week’s blog, I decided to switch it up a little bit.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the outdoors, but what about all the indoor activities Nipigon has to offer.  This week I made my way into a fitness class, and it was so much fun!

Zumba! You may have heard about Zumba or you might be wondering what the heck It is. When I first heard about Zumba I had no idea what it was, so being a millennial, I took to social media for some “research”.  I came across tons of videos of people shaking their booty to some awesome dance music.  I love to dance, and there have been a million times I have woken up after a night of dancing where I am sore, but I never really thought of it as exercise. I can also fully admit to dancing in front of the mirrors while at the gym, so why not dance my way into a workout where dancing IS the workout. In this class, you spend the entire time dancing making it so easy to forget that you’re working out. Zumba is a dance-style aerobics class that includes the dance of all types such as salsa, merengue, cha-cha, hip-hop, belly dancing, Bollywood, and African. The high-energy classes are set to upbeat music and feature choreographed dance numbers. You don’t need to be a great dancer to feel welcome in a Zumba class. The classes emphasize moving to the music and having a good time, no rhythm required.

When I got to Zumba all the other participants were there ready to get started.  We all spread out, facing our instructor, ready to dance the night away.   Suzanne was actually a competitive dancer back in the day, so this girl can move.  The first couple songs I was a little lost, but quickly realized the best thing you can do is pick up the steps where you can, laugh, shake and have fun. It’s important to remember that no one is there to judge you. Everyone works out for a common goal and is usually too worried about what they’re doing to think about anyone else.  I personally think Zumba is amazing.  The regular ladies who attend are amazing, the instructor is amazing, the music is amazing, the whole atmosphere is amazing.

There are also a lot of health benefits associated with Zumba,

  • Calorie and fat burning: At its core, Zumba classes provide a large calorie burn through aerobic activity done with interval training in mind. The average person will burn around 600 to 1,000 calories in a Zumba class. With the classes choreographed to provide intervals of intensity in both pace of music and type of movements
  • Improved coordination: By joining a Zumba class, you’ll improve your coordination, which is extremely important to maintain as you grow older.
  • Full body workout: Zumba is both a dance class and a fitness class. Aside from its heart-healthy benefits, Zumba provides a workout for the whole body
  • Aerobic benefits: Zumba makes reaching your target heart rate much easier than standard workout routines you’d find on a DVD or in a gym.
  • Anaerobic benefits: Because Zumba’s music plays at a fast pace, moving to the beat of the music can start to build up your endurance after only a few workouts. It builds up your anaerobic endurance rather quickly
  • Mood-boosting: Zumba is the perfect workout to take if you want to get rid of all that stress you accumulate during your every day. The upbeat moves specific to this type of workout favor the release of those mood-improving endorphins, and by joining a Zumba class, you’ll surely be able to feel your worries melt away one booty shake at a time.
Revolution, H. (2018). Top 10 Health Benefits of Zumba • Health Fitness Revolution. Health Fitness Revolution. Retrieved 1 February 2018, from http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-zumba/

After class, Suzanne told me about a CBC documentary she had recently watched on aging.  A German study found that seniors who participated in three, hour-long dance classes per week for six months experienced 15% higher increase in muscle mass than those who did a repetitive exercise (getting on a treadmill or stationary bike) for the same amount of time.  The researchers explained that when you dance the brain is engaged, and the body changes speed and direction, and this is why the result experienced by the dancers was more positive.

If you are bored of your routine or want to get out and meet some new people, Zumba might be for you.  Classes are Mondays and Wednesdays 6pm-7pm at the Community Centre multipurpose room.