Forward-thinking seniors know a great party when they see one. Zumba melts fat, strengthens the core, and greatly improves flexibility. It’s just a great, all-around fun exercise technique that can do wonders for a senior’s quality of life and longevity. That’s why Zumba seniors are smart seniors.
WHERE DID ZUMBA COME FROM?
Although tens of thousands of people enjoy working out to the Zumba beat, few can tell you where Zumba came from in the first place.
It was actually a Columbian dance choreographer named Alberto “Beto: Perez who created Zumba as an exercise fitness program back in1998. The international ambassador for Zumba is Brazilian pop star Claudie Leitte.
As the story goes, Perez was an aerobics instructor. He forgot his regular workout music one day and instead used cassette tapes he had. The tapes featured Salsa and the Meringue and that’s what they used to dance with during the workout.
At first, he called it Rumbacize which was a mix of Rumba, a Spanish party word and Jazzercize. The word Zumba was created as a brand name for the exercise routine. In 2001 Perez partnered with Alberta Perlam and Alberto Aghion. They created Zumba fitness videos and sold them on infomercials.
They eventually expanded into Zumba classes, and by 2015 some 14 million students from 186 countries were hooked on Zumba. There are four basic rhythms which include Salsa, Meringue, reggaeton., and Cumbia. Each rhythm has four core steps. You will also find Mambo, Flamenco and Hip-Hop are part of the Zumba routine.
Zumba Gold is for beginners and seniors.
The entire workout is done with a party-like atmosphere. As challenging as it is, you will almost always see people smiling as they dance and workout to the Latin beats.
The routines are modified and are not as demanding as the routines done by younger, more advanced fitness buffs.
It’s not necessary to know how to dance. Zumba Gold is configured to get senors to move a little and enjoy themselves, even if they can’t do all the movements perfectly.
As with any exercise regimen, having a great diet will add to your progress on the road to fitness and happiness.
The Zumba Gold workouts will help build cardiovascular health as, by its very nature, Zumba challenges the heart to be stronger. It also works the muscles of the hips, legs, and arms.
There is no doubt of the importance of managing weight, keeping a healthy heart, improving balance, and injury prevention. Zumba does all of this and more.
Zumba actually falls under the category of endurance training as most workouts are based on one hour of constant movement. This helps improve circulation and coordination.
There is no doubt that many calories are burned during a typical workout and this helps offset weight gain that seems to plague many seniors. It’s believed that a one hour Zumba workout can burn as many as 500 calories. To achieve the best results, it’s important that the movements are done correctly.
It’s estimated that a 150-pound woman can burn about 550 calories during one hour of Zumba. This is more than you will lose in one hour of running, spinning, or swimming. In a nutshell, Zumba is a total body workout and will leave you feeling invigorated.
THE TYPICAL ZUMBA WORKOUT
First of all, it’s important to have the right footwear. Choose cross-trainer shoes or dance shoes that are configured for quick and fluid lateral movements. Avoid deep sole treads and shoes that are worn out as they can lead to injury.
Basically, Zumba is one hour of high-energy dance moves. It incorporates typical exercises like lunges, squats, and arm curls all set to high-energy Latin music that’s sure to get your blood circulating.
The extremely upbeat music will energize the entire workout as the moves are meant to flow in time to the rhythm.
A common mistake by beginners is going at it too hard when they first start out. Take it easy at first and don’t worry about keeping up with everyone else. Overdoing it too early can lead to injury and that’s not what Zumba is all about.
Typically, a Zumba class will begin with a warm-up and cool-down.
It’s normal to feel a bit of discomfort after the first few workouts as most likely muscles are used that have not been used for a long time. If there is any sort of sharp pain as opposed to aches, it could mean there is a possible injury. In that case, be sure to have a doctor check it out.
IS ZUMBA RIGHT FOR YOU?
When you think about it, dancing is one of the best ways to keep the body in great shape and the mind sharp. More than anything else, Zumba is dancing. The only difference is that fitness routines are worked into the choreography.
If you want to feel exhilarated, healthy, and fit, Zumba might be perfect for you. It’s exercises programs like Zumba that can motivate and challenge you.
Another great aspect of joining a Gold Zumba class for seniors is the excellent social connections you can make if you are open to making new acquaintances.
For those of you who would rather work out in the comfort of your own home, there are some excellent Zumba videos. The right beginner videos will walk you through the steps and in no time you will find yourself moving to the music.
Zumba videos will are very motivated and you will be excited to workout. Your ability and confidence will improve once you see the improvement in your fitness level.
What can be better than having fun and getting stronger and fitter at the same time?
If you choose to do Zumba in your home, why not invite a couple of friends over to join the workout? Who knows, you might even convert your basement into a dance studio of sorts and have a dozen friends over a few times a week.
OTHER TYPES OF ZUMBA
There are several optional workouts that are the offshoots of the original Zumba.
- Zumba Step– uses a step prop
- Zumba Sentao– uses a chair
- Zumba Toning– Toning sticks are incorporated to make arms and abs stronger
- Aqua Zumba– This is an excellent pool workout for seniors who desire low impact exercising.
Before starting a program like Zumba ( or any new fitness program for that matter) be sure to visit your doctor and get the okay. It’s important that it suits your medical history.
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