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Zumba Fitness: The Wonders of An Amazing Fitness Trend

Zumba is a trade name for a dance fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Perez in Colombia during the 1990s. The program combines Latin and international music with dance in an effort to make exercise fun. ZUMBA classes are offered through licensed instructors in more than 90,000 fitness center locations in 110 countries with ten million participants.

For many, dance is a hobby and a stress buster. And Zumba may very well be the perfect stress buster, aiding weight loss as a bonus. Known as 'aerobics with a twist', zumba aerobics has become one of the most sought-after routines among the fitness-conscious today, as it is ideal for those who seek to reduce weight, the fun way.

Zumba makes generous use of both fast and slow rhythms, thereby enabling one to work out for a longer period of time and thus burning unnecessary fat.

  • ZUMBA—The traditional ZUMBA class including basic rhythms like merengue, foxtrot, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, belly dance, waltz, flamenco, tango, samba.
  • ZUMBA Gold—This workout is designed for adults and de-conditioned participants. It addresses the anatomical, physiological and psychological needs specific to these populations.
  • ZUMBA Toning—This class blends body-sculpting techniques and specific ZUMBA moves into one class focusing on calorie-burning and strength-training. Instructors use weighted, maraca-like ZUMBA Toning Sticks to enhance rhythm and build strength.
  • Aqua ZUMBA—This workshop is an all ages class similar to water aerobics. It is designed to be safe, yet effective and challenging, integrating the ZUMBA formula and philosophy into traditional aqua fitness disciplines.
  • Zumbatomic—In September 2009, ZUMBA Fitness launched Zumbatomic, the first ZUMBA program for children. The original workout program is designed specifically for girls and boys ages 4–12 and incorporates urban dance styles like hip hop, reggaeton and pop with fundamental concepts such as coordination, discipline, confidence and teamwork.

"It is a very popular fitness regime in many parts of the world. It increases the efficiency of the various functions of the body," says dancer Lourd Vijay.

Zumba has a strong and distinct Latin influence and is more about having fun than anything else — it doesn't really matter whether or not you get your steps right. It also helps one burn up to 450 calories per hour and promotes cardiovascular health.

The movements in zumba are a mixture of different Latin dance forms like salsa, meringue, cha-cha, mambo and zumba shuffle steps that help tone the muscles. The initial classes are divided into two basic levels. Basic level one focusses on four rhythms — meringue, salsa, cumbia and reggaeton. Basic level two adds four more rhythms — belly dance, flamenco, tango and samba. The tempo of the songs changes from slow to moderate to fast and back again.

An ideal zumba workout also includes a diet plan that emphasises on having six small meals. The plan does not restrict one from having one's favourite foods — moderation is the key. Once trained by a qualified instructor, zumba can be practiced at home at least thrice a week.

"However, though zumba is very effective as a workout regime, it hasn't caught on in Chennai in a big way because we do not have many qualified trainers here," says Lourd.

Fitness trainer Sujataha Suro on the other hand uses zumba as part of a more comprehensive fitness regime that includes mixing and matching various dance forms.


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