Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Zumba is the Best Thing Ever

In light of my attempts to live in the moment and dwell in the joys of being home in St Louis, I wanted to share one of my favorite discoveries of the summer: Zumba. I just returned home from a class with my favorite instructor (Zumba is 3 days a week, each day with a different instructor. They're all good, but Monday night Zumba is my fave.)

For fun, and to spread awareness about an amazing (and fun!) workout, I present you with a list of reasons why Zumba is the greatest workout ever:
  1. You learn cool dances like the Mambo, Salsa and Cha-Cha, so your workout feels more like you're on the set of Dirty Dancing than in a gym burning calories.
  2. The music is fun and exciting, and it energizes you to get through the sometimes challenging routines.
  3. Your core muscles are engaged the entire time, since your hips and midsection are constant moving to the Latin beat.
  4. The workout goes fast, unlike time spent on the elliptical (which drags on forever, at least for me.)
  5. No two classes are exactly the same; the instructors are always thinking up new routines to keep the workout fresh and your muscles from adjusting to one constant routine.
  6. You can make an ass out of yourself and fit right in with the other people who are doing exactly the same thing as you--prior knowledge of dance is not required.
  7. The people (mostly women, but I've seen some men as well) are upbeat, laughing, and having a good time. No competition--just a group of people coming together to workout and have fun.
  8. Dancing is fun. You definitely realize the joys of movement and how amazing it is that the body can dance, jump, stretch, turn, etc.
  9. Someone told me the average person burns 500-750 calories in a single class. I think this is probably untrue, but I leave each class a sweaty mess, so I know I've done my body a lot of good in one hour.
  10. I can't explain why, and this is going to sound really disgusting, but I love the way the skin on my arms, neck and face looks when it's glowing with sweat. Maybe it's because I know I'm working hard? Maybe because I'm releasing toxins as I sweat? Who knows, but I take pride in walking out of each class drenched. I'm a weirdo, I know.
  11. It doesn't feel like exercise, but it is--and good exercise, at that.
I could probably think of a million more, but I need to eat dinner and get some work done.

I haven't written much about the GOOD things that have happened this summer (I save most of it for my other blog) but Zumba--and my weight lifting routine--are definitely two highlights.

Gain or lose, my body is responding so beautifully to this exercise.

Love it.

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