Zumba Fitness is one of the most favored fitness programs all around the globe. On a weekly basis there are approximately 14 million classes held! This number is astonishing since Zumba as a fitness trend started merely in 2001. It was created by fitness and dance instructor Beto Perez. Ever since its kick off, Zumba has gained massive popularity worldwide. Most Zumba instructors and faithful Zumba enthusiasts swear by the adage “Zumba is not just a workout, it’s a way of life.”
You can burn up to 730 calories in a single Zumba session lasting an hour! However, Zumba Fitness is much more than a great way to burn calories, lose fat, and improve your cardiovascular health. After all, many different fitness programs could boast of those merits. Zumba Fitness is a unique workout routine because it is multifaceted. It integrates and incorporates fitness, entertainment, and fun into an all-out dance party.
Why is Zumba a one-of-a-kind Fitness Program?
There are a wide range of age groups participating in Zumba, ranging from infants to children to senior citizens. Zumba Kids is available for children aged seven to eleven. Zumbini is designed specifically for babies and their caregivers up to 3 years old, and Zumba Kids Jr. is available for ages four to six. There is a Zumba Gold program for seniors. Each age group has its own fitness module. Zumba offers a unique combination of fitness routines and fun that is truly remarkable. With Zumba’s continued innovation and expansion, its popularity is increasing around the world.
So, What Exactly is Zumba?
The Zumba workout fuses rhythmic Latin dance routines with world music, resulting in an intense workout that burns calories and is fun! Zumba classes are usually attended in colorful gym wear or cargo pants. Zumba makes your fitness routine seem like a fun activity with it’s fast paced dance routines. In the midst of it all, you’re dripping in sweat, moving to a synchronized routine, and totally caught up in the music. The workouts involve highly choreographed movements set to upbeat salsa and international music. Different dance forms can be blended with the peppy workout. For example, Bollywood music is incorporated into dance workouts and fitness routines. The Zumba workout method is fun and high-energy, keeping you motivated and invigorated.
The Creator of Zumba: Alberto “Beto” Perez
From his earliest days, Alberto “Beto” Perez loved to dance. In spite of his mother’s disapproval, he used to breakdance almost every night with his friends in Cali, Colombia, during his childhood. Competing with one another, he honed his skills becoming a fantastic dancer. His mother soon found out and stopped his nightly excursions. As a result, Beto learned in other ways. The King of Pop, his music, and American pop and hip-hop culture captivated him as a teenager. Michael’s footwork and movements were studied and he tried to emulate them.
Beto had no formal training, but he was immensely talented. The years of practicing with his friends, had paid off and he had evolved into a fantastic dancer. So, when he entered a Lambada dance competition at the tender age of nineteen, he made it right to the top and won! The Maria Sanford Brazilian Dance Academy in Cali gave him the opportunity to teach and study dance. His work was that he had to teach Michael Jackson’s dance moves which was inherently his passion! He also had to teach aerobics, so he started to learn and it was a cake walk for Beto. He finally received some sort of formal training and began his journey as a dancer and a choreographer.
In 1999 Beto sold off everything he had and moved to Miami to pursue his dreams. He needed to support himself and took up several jobs, one of them being an aerobics instructor. On one particular day, he arrived late to his aerobics class, and if that wasn’t bad enough, he realized he had forgotten his aerobics music. So, he had no choice. He rummaged through his backpack and found a mix tape featuring club music—salsa and merengue tunes, specifically. There was no synchronized routine as such so Beto did what he knew best! Dancing a little bit on Latin tunes infused with a fitness exercises. It was a hit and people started flocking to the studio simply for his dance routines. Soon everyone was dancing, sweating, and having a party in his aerobics class. This is how Zumba Fitness was actually created. By accident!
Every Cloud has a Silver Lining
As luck would have it, one of Beto’s ardent supporters was Alberto Perlman’s mother, a gutsy entrepreneur willing to take risks. As a result of hearing his mother rave about Beto’s classes, Perlman decided to attend one. He was astonished to see approximately 120 people, finding the class packed to the brim and overflowing. His biggest surprise was how much people seemed to enjoy themselves. Participants were cheerful and sweating, no one appeared grimacing or in pain, like when people do weights or heavy exercises. This was a business opportunity he could capitalize on. Perlman was trying to make a comeback after suffering some major setbacks in his own business affairs, and the possibilities of this fitness craze intrigued him.
Fortune Favours the Brave
Another Alberto, Alberto Aghion, had worked for one of Perlman’s companies that went under and was also seeking employment. Having been destined for greater things, the three Albertos came together to create Zumba Fitness. After deciding Beto had a marketable product, they planned to shoot a video of one of his classes. Two hundred pumped participants and Beto’s booty-shaking fitness class were filmed on a beautiful beach near Miami. Fitness Quest’s CEO was impressed with the video shown by the Albertos. A series of tapes and DVDs was released by Fitness Quest months later, along with an infomercial. It went well for them. In six months, they sold roughly a million copies!
How Beneficial is Zumba?
That’s what fitness and medical experts at the American Council on Exercise wanted to assess, so they asked researchers John Porcari and Mary Luettgen of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to do a survey in relation to Zumba. Specifically, this Workout Watchdog team wanted to test the average exercise intensity and energy output during a typical Zumba class, so they recruited nineteen women, ages eighteen to twenty-two. All the women were fit with an adequate knowledge of Zumba, but could perform at varying intensity levels. They used monitors to track the participants’ heart rates, oxygen consumption, and calories burned.
Here are the results of their surveys:
1. Zumba improves flexibility due to the exaggerated hip movements and strengthens the core, giving a complete body workout.
2. Zumba burns more calories than cardio, kickboxing, step aerobics, hooping, and power yoga. Participants in the study burned between seven and twelve calories per minute. This is extremely high in relation to other fitness routines.
3. No matter what your fitness level, whichever range – you could be extremely fit or not at all, yet Zumba provides a great cardio workout. All of the women in the study, fit or not, were working out in the heart rate zone that improves cardio health.
4.It does not matter if you do not move in an exact synchronized fashion. Zumba will still give you a great work out. So, yes, it’s a party, but it’s a party that makes you burn calories and attain weight loss!
Advantages of Zumba
In addition to providing a great cardiovascular workout, Zumba has many other benefits. As well as helping participants lose unwanted weight, tone up, and have fun, it has also been known to help them become flexible. However, there are other benefits that Beto hadn’t anticipated.
The body releases feel-good chemicals called Endorphins when a person engages in high-energy exercise such as Zumba. As runners experience a “runner’s high,” Zumba participants are also experiencing that same feel-good state in an equally emphatic way.
The following are some ways Zumba makes you happier and more positive:
• It’s entertaining. Maintaining an exercise routine, you enjoy will make it easier for you to stick with it.
• The ability to lose weight helps you reach your goals.
• Increases the health of your cardiovascular system.
• You get toned from head to toe.
• De-stresses you and calms your mind.
• Enhances coordination.
• Positivity and happiness are the results.
Zumba is for Everyone
Beto feels that people in the fitness world create programs only for people into fitness, whereas Zumba is for everyone. The specialty of Zumba is that anyone can do it regardless of age or even financial constraints since you do not require a gym or any fancy equipment. He and his partners created a fitness program for the common people, like students who don’t have much money to spend on their own fitness, moms who are harrowed working tirelessly through the day, obese or overweight people who fear the stigma of being judged and the people fighting through depression and diseases, releasing all their tension for that one magical hour of Zumba. For those people and so many others, Zumba has been a savior. It’s benefits reach far beyond just the physical aspects giving people hope, and spreading positivity.
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