Antoinette van Staden, a licensed Zumba instructor, highlights the many enticements of joining the Zumba party.
You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/buddiesforlife
Ditch the workout, join the party! This is the popular slogan of Zumba fitness, the Latin inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Zumba was founded, in 2001, by Beto Pérez, Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion. Pérez, a Columbian dancer and choreographer forgot his music for his aerobics class in the 1990s and only had his Latin music on a cassette tape with him and in that moment, Zumba was born.
Over the years, this medium- to high-intensity level group fitness programme has gained popularity worldwide. Zumba is presented weekly to roughly two million people, in 110 000 locations, in 186 countries. Instructors can choose to be trained in many different licences, Zumba Sentao (using a chair as your dance partner), Zumba Gold (lower intensity for older adults or participants recovering from injuries), Zumba kids & kids Jr. (for ages 4-12 years), Zumba Step (using an aerobic step), Zumba Toning (toning sticks or light weights), Aqua Zumba (done in water), Zumbini (for babies 0-4 years) and Strong Nation (a high-intensity interval training workout).
It’s a known fact that regular exercise has countless benefits, and Zumba is no different. The way in which this easy-to-follow fitness programme was formulated, ensures that certain health and well-being goals are met. Studies have shown that an hour class burns around 400 calories, which is great for weight loss. Exercising not only assists in improving heart and lung function, endurance, coordination, flexibility, muscular strength, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels, but dancing also improves your mental health.
The interval training, with its upbeat music and choreography, is a full-body workout and allows your brain to release the feel-good hormones: serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. The release of these hormones during exercise can assist with fighting depression, reducing anxiety, stress and pain management and your overall demeanour. Since it’s a group activity, you’ll be welcomed in a social environment which allows for a safe and effectively designed workout and an added accountability factor.
During COVID-19 the fitness industry had to adapt their approach and Zumba instructors around the world started presenting virtual classes. By offering classes on these platforms, participants are able to join a class from the safety and comfort of their own home, and for 60 minutes they can forget about the stressors that they face in their daily routine.
Benefits to breast cancer survivors
Surviving breast cancer might leave you feeling like your body has betrayed you, and gaining the trust again can be a difficult and timeous process.
Research has shown that, amongst other, regular exercise (3-5 hours per week), maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy and reducing stress, can be beneficial in reducing the risk of recurrence.
Joining a Zumba Gold class will offer the opportunity to do low-impact exercises, with all the added benefits of Zumba. The class can be done in a chair if needed until strength and mobility have been regained. Focusing on balance, posture and coordination, it will protect your joints and muscles, while raising your heart rate. Your instructor has the knowledge to modify moves to suit your individual need. Zumba Gold Toning provides a platform to focus on muscle conditioning and light-weight activity.
By joining the class on a regular basis, it will assist in maintaining a healthy weight, boosting your immune system and improving your agility and flexibility. Dancing also improves cognitive function and memory. You will build relationships with individuals that will provide support and understanding, allowing you to express yourself in a safe environment.
Join a class, where everyone (even your two left feet) is welcome and experience the benefits of learning, expressing communicating and socialising in an environment free of judgement and unnecessary stress. Be ready to leave the class feeling strong and empowered.
Visit zumba.com to find a licenced instructor in §your area.
MEET THE EXPERT – Antoinette van Staden
Antoinette van Staden is the owner of Z Dance Fitness S.A. and a licensed Zumba instructor based in Gauteng. She has been an instructor for six years, teaching Zumba fitness, Kids & kids Jr, Toning and Gold on a weekly basis, and has a passion for health and fitness.
Header image by Adobe Stock