I am pretty sure you have already heard of the Zumba fitness program. In fact, I bet many of you have already been doing it for several years now. If you haven’t heard of Zumba yet, it is not yet too late to learn about it and start having the most exciting way to stay healthy and maintain physical fitness. Known among fitness buffs as the Zumba workout party, it is a very innovative and fun way of keeping fit.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am no Zumba expert. In fact, I only started doing the Zumba routine a couple of years ago when a friend of mine bought a fitness DVD. We simply followed the steps on the DVD and next thing you know we were already giggling at each other like the way we used to in high school. It was humiliating at first. I am no dancer. Yet the merengue, salsa, and cha-cha were more like hypnotic rhythms that allowed our hips to sway to the beat. It was actually very fun with all those hip-swivelling moves. In fact, I thought it was a really fun way to get your heart pumping. I also knew that I was burning more calories than I could have ever imagined because I have never seen myself sweat so profusely only after 45 minutes of the fitness DVD. Too bad, my friend and I only did it once a week.
Several weeks ago, I came across a Zumba class in the gym where my friends and I usually go. I asked my friend to accompany me to the class and since then we have been regulars. I simply cannot describe how much fun it as seeing different people of all sizes, shapes, backgrounds, and ages coming together and really swinging their bodies to the rhythm. It was simply a lot better than just doing the Zumba with my friend. Our instructress was so energetic and very inspiring that she has this innate talent of making you believe that you can dance to your heart’s content regardless of how big and heavy you are.
I also purchased a watch with built-in heart rate monitor and calorie counter function to keep me up to speed as to how well I am doing in terms of keeping me fit. There are times when I would hit 800 calories an hour; 400 calories at other times. I noticed that I was burning more calories every time I was more active on the dance floor. I am no scientist but I sure am proud that I am burning those calories while having fun, feeling good about myself, and meeting and interacting with different people from all walks of life. Now I know why they call it the Zumba party.
A lot of people consider Zumba training as an excellent way to keep physically fit. Physical fitness programs are generally anchored on raising your metabolic rate so that your body will become more efficient when it comes to the various physiologic processes it has to perform. Generally, when we exercise we use energy in the form of glucose. More importantly however, is the utilization of oxygen by the tissues. Sure, all cells will require glucose to fuel the different processes but oxygen is also needed by cells in many chemical reactions. If oxygen is not supplied, the cells of the body will have to source their needs from other molecules. This is why you have what are called aerobic and anaerobic metabolism which are metabolism in the presence of oxygen or the absence of oxygen, respectively. This is why if you strain too much, you feel out of breath and you can feel cramps in your leg muscles. These are all indications of metabolic processes occurring in the absence of oxygen.
Physical exercise gets your heart rate really fast and this helps in the more efficient delivery of oxygen to the different tissues. However, prolonged strenuous exercise can also have its negative effect. That is why you need to rest in between routines. Over time, the heart learns to compensate for the increased heart rate by increasing the force of contraction of the heart. This means that the heart can now slow down its rate of pumping because the more forceful contraction of the heart is enough to deliver oxygen to the rest of the body. This is why professional athletes have significantly lower heart rates and blood pressures after a certain physical exercise routine compared to non-athletes. They have fully adapted to the metabolic needs of their bodies. And this is how they maintain physical fitness.
Zumba training increases our heart rates helping our cardiovascular system to become more efficient in the delivery of oxygen to the rest of the body. The calories that we burn during those high intensity Zumba workouts can also help in losing weight. Since weight issues are implicated in a variety of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, then getting into a Zumba training program will bring in more benefits to your health.
I know what Zumba training can do to my life. I have already seen the changes in the way I look at life in general. I feel much more alive. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. You just have to give Zumba a try.