There’s been no escaping the Zumba craze over the last couple of years – it’s a fitness revolution that has merengued it’s way around the world and inspired millions of women (and a few men) to shimmy their way into shape.
The brainchild of Colombian aerobics instructor Beto Perez, Zumba was begun by accident when he forgot to take his normal music along to a class. Instead he improvised with the salsa and merengue music he did have, the class loved it and Beto never looked back.
Now Zumba is a mainstay of gyms and leisure centres around the world, as well as being available in fitness DVDs, Wii and Xbox games. My own love of Zumba began when I received the DVD collection back in 2010, and since then I have also taken classes and played on the Zumba Fitness 2 Wii game, so which is best?
Living in London there are often deals on sites like Wowcher, Wahanda and LivingSocial for Zumba class packs. I got 20 classes for £12, which worked out at a little over 50p a class! Normally you can expect to pay around £6 or £7 to take an hour long class.
I’ve never really been one for fitness classes before and I was conscious that people would be looking, but once you get started everyone is so focused on trying to keep up that they’re not too interested in anyone else!
The best thing about taking a live Zumba class is the atmosphere. You can’t help but laugh as you do the reggaeton bounce or booty circle in front of the mirror alongside 25 strangers. The music’s loud and you can really go for it without worrying about being too noisy. My only negative is that if you are going to go regularly and don’t have a class pack then it could work out expensive to go every week.
I’ve had these DVDs for a couple of years now, and they’re still my go-to for a fun but effective workout. The 30 day transformation kit includes four DVDs, featuring an introduction to the Zumba moves, a 20 minute express workout, full cardio workout and 20 minute Abs DVD. The set also comes with two Zumba shaker weights for use with the toning DVD –noisy but fun.
The great thing about these DVDs is that there are so many different workouts to try you can mix it up and won’t get bored – the problem with many exercise DVDs. Zumba works out the whole body and the added abs DVD will help you to target problem areas. This is probably my favourite of the workouts as it provides targeted moves to tone your core without the need for any sit ups.
Zumba Fitness for the Wii:
I received this game for the Wii at Christmas and I love it! Simply pop the Wii controller in your special Zumba belt and follow the instructor on screen. There are loads of high intensity, medium intensity and low intensity songs to choose from, and you can even make your own playlist to tailor the class to suit you. You can take a full length, medium or short class depending on how long you have to play and also compete against a friend.
I think the interactive nature of the game is the biggest appeal to playing Zumba on the Wii. Not only will it tell you how many calories you’ve burned and give you feedback on your moves, if you score well you unlock bonus features and extra songs.
While many people may think playing on a computer game isn’t much of a workout, it really gets your heart rate pumping, the sweat flowing and I burned over 500 calories in a class, so I can honestly say it’s a good choice for working out at home!
So if you haven’t tried it already, it’s time to join the Zumba party! It really is a fun workout, even for people who normally hate exercise, so give it a go!
Have you tried Zumba? What’s your favourite exercise?