Growing up, I loved to dance. Most days after school, I grabbed a bus and headed to the studio for a class. Some evenings, I had two classes. I simply couldn’t get enough of them! When I was about 17 years old, I stopped taking classes and then moved away for university, where there were no classes offered. I didn’t realize then how big a loss that was … losing my true love.
Since then, I’ve tried rugby (played winger when they let me off the bench), ultimate (loved it, but managed to fracture my hip doing a layout), a variety of yoga styles including hot yoga, boot camp fitness, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and jogging via the couch to 5k program. With the exception of ultimate, I can’t really say I ever felt even the least bit “hooked.”
So I’m still searching. I really want to find a form of exercise that I like – that I actually want to do – rather than feel obligated to do. This brings me to Zumba® fitness. People are totally ga-ga over this stuff!
In fact, I have a friend whom I would most definitely classify as “addicted.” One look at her Facebook status updates confirms it — after teaching a Zumba class or two a day, she goes back into GoodLife Fitness to take Zumba classes on the days when she’s not working!
Naturally, this intrigues me. I want that kind of love in my life. And since it’s dance-related, maybe it could be my true love too? I asked this same friend, Trish Roche, to answer some questions for the blog on Zumba fitness and she was kind enough to jump on board.
Julie: You are a woman possessed! Why do you think that you — and so many others! — love Zumba so much?
Trish: Well, Zumba Fitness says, “Ditch the workout; join the party.” The music is also a key success factor — it’s just fun to move to it, and because the moves are based on Latin dance styles, it doesn’t feel like a typical workout. Most participants come to have fun and walk out (as they gaze down at their sweat-soaked clothes) that they had a good workout! To me, that’s a huge upside.
Julie: I did try a couple of Zumba classes, but I couldn’t follow a lot of the choreography. Is this normal?
Trish: I think a few things come into play. First, if people are in their brains trying to figure out all the steps, it can be more stressful than fun. So, I always encourage people to try to relax and just enjoy the music. When they can do that, they are more likely to move the entire time, which is far better in terms of a workout anyway.
Julie: What was wrong with the old fashioned 80s aerobics classes? Why don’t people do those anymore?
Trish: I assume you mean, apart from the clothes??? You know, the fitness industry is really no different than anything else — there are trends and fads and “the latest thing.” You’d be surprised that some of the “old school” style classes, with high-impact moves are still around and are quite popular with certain crowds!
Julie: Do men ever take your Zumba classes?
Trish: I can say this, the men who come enjoy being in the company of women who are relaxed, having fun and know how to move their hips! We do have some husbands and wives for whom it is date night!
Julie: How many calories do you think a woman my size (5’6″ and 165 lbs) could burn in one of your Zumba classes?
Trish: Some online calculators exist, but the most accurate picture is to wear a heart-rate monitor with a calorie calculator. However, it all comes down to body weight, age, exertion level and some other variables. My typical expenditure in teaching a class is somewhere in the 400 to 500 range and I’m 5’4″ and 135.
Julie: Tell me the truth: Are your abs strictly from doing Zumba or do you also do sit-ups and other ab exercises?
Trish: Oh Julie. If I tell you then I’ll have to kill you*.
*I’ll share Trish’s full answer on the Coffee with Julie Facebook page.
Have you found your “true love” in fitness? (Last I heard, Oprah hasn’t either, so we’re in good company I guess.) If you have, tell me what it is and how it makes you feel! Also if you’ve got questions for Trish about Zumba fitness, just jot it down in the comments and Trish will respond!
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