What is Zumba?

Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves. Zumba routines incorporate interval training alternating fast and slow rhythms to help improve cardiovascular fitness.

Zumba is an aerobic activity that can count toward the amount of aerobic activity recommended for most healthy adults by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, or combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefits.

Zumba was created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez during the 1990’s. He was teaching an aerobic class at his local gym when he realized he’d forgotten his usual music.

Without time to retrieve his tunes, Perez ended up using a few of his favorite Latin –dance cassettes, and just like that, the new class was born. It was so popular with people in Columbia, that popstar Shakira enlisted him to help choreograph some of her music.

In 2000, Perez launched his fitness class in the United States.

A big draw of Zumba is that anyone can do it and regardless of how quickly you pick up on the choreography, you are likely to be having fun and sweating. No special equipment or outfits are needed. All you need is a positive attitude and to keep moving. Zumba is considered a generally safe fitness activity, but because all physical activity carries inherent risk, you should think about your own physical health before diving into a program. If you have a history of ankle or knee problems, talk to your doctor before trying Zumba.

If you are brand new to dance choreography, don’t overdo it and push yourself too hard. Give yourself time to master the movements at your own pace. Moving quickly or without coordination can lead to an increased risk of injury.

I was licensed in 2007 to teach Zumba.

Class times are Mondays 5:30 pm at Essential Energies. Bring water and a towel. Come join my party!!!!

About the Article's Author

Michelle Woods
Zumba Instructor
Michelle has been a Zumba Instructor for 14 years and teaches at various locations across Jackson County. Michell has been hosting Monday night Zumba at Essential Energies for more than 10 years.

More about Michelle