On Saturday morning, I conjured up the guts to try Zumba. I had such a great time, and I can't wait to go back. In fact, I am going to try to rearrange my evening so I can go tonight AND on Saturday mornings.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Zumba, it's a Latin-inspired dance fitness program. It reminded me of a modern version of the Jazzercise classes my mom did when I was a child. It took me back to when I used to do the Richard Simmon's "Sweatin' to the Oldies" videos with Mom, who was so embarrassed she made us pull the shades down when we did it. Mom, if you're reading this, you would love this workout and could dance to it without feeling ashamed for liking it. For me, Zumba was like dancing at the club. I knew about half the songs-- we warmed up to LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" and danced to Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie," to name a few. If only the class incorporated my favorite song of the moment, Maroon 5's "Moves like Jagger," I'd be in heaven.
The dance moves took us from warm-up stretches and workout to cool down. You're always moving. There is lots of "booty popping," which acts like standing crunches for your abs while working your upper body, and hip rotations that make you feel sexy until you start to feel the burn. The combination of Latin-inspired moves and upbeat popular music makes it easy to forget that you're working out. However, according to my Polar heart rate monitor, I burned close to 700 calories that hour, and did it all with a big smile on my face. My favorite part was that I was dancing again. I swear I was born to dance-- I've been dancing since I was 3 or so and even won my fair share of dance-offs. You don't need to know how to dance to do Zumba, you just need to like dancing-- I love it, so I'm able to really get into the moves and see them for more than a workout.
Neptune Township is offering a variety of affordable activities to its residents this fall, including the Zumba class I attended provided by Jersey Shore Zumba. It's only $5 per session, which is such a great deal compared to the classes offered at local gyms. The classes are offered twice a week in the gym of the local elementary school. Carol, the instructor, keeps it fun and casual, so there is no pressure to get the steps perfect. The point is to move and have fun doing it. Zumba attracts people of all ages and sizes, and you don't need a dance background to keep up. I highly recommend that you visit the national Zumba website and locate a class near you. If you're in the Jersey Shore area, check out Jersey Shore Zumba to find out if Carol is offering a class near you. Maybe I'll see you there! I'll be the one in the front-center (like the good student I am) grooving to the songs (and singing along) like I'm at the club. Don't judge... lol.