Zumba is one of the most fun and versatile fitness crazes to come along in a long time. Office workers can take classes at lunch hour and they can be geared for just about any fitness level. Though most Zumba involves high-impact moves like bouncing and jumping, it can be modified to meet your needs. According to Dr. Melinda Ratini, if you want an overall strength training program, look for a Zumba class that incorporates some light weights for your upper body. You can start slowly if needed, or you can dance your heart out if you are in great shape.
If you’re used to sitting at your desk all day and are generally inactive, talk to your doctor before joining a class – especially if you have any medical issues, or take any medicines, just to make sure Zumba is right for you. Make sure to talk to instructors before class about your fitness level and any health conditions you have so they can suggest modifications.
Because Zumba is based on Latin-inspired dance moves, many of the injuries that people suffer are similar to the ones other dancers endure. A recent article from Journal of Dance Medicine and Science conducted a survey on professional modern dancers that showed 40% suffered injuries to the foot and ankle, 17% had injuries in the lower back, and 16% had injuries to the knee.
Warm-ups and cool-downs that include stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises have been found to be important for sports in general and in aerobics. Warm-ups allow the body to loosen and cause a gradual increase in heart rate. Cool-downs allow the heart rate to come down slowly and burn off lactic acid and adrenalin.
Cross training, such as running, lifting weights, swimming, or cycling, can also help decrease the risk of injury.
Both Zumba and aerobics include many side-to-side movements. So the best practice is to wear dance shoes or other shoes that provide stability for side-to-side motion and allows twisting and turning. Running shoes are not recommended because they have treads, which can cause the shoes to stick to the floor.
And when your dance shoes get sweaty and you get smelly foot odor, use FreshFooties natural foot deodorant and shoe odor spray to cool your footies off and also make your Zumba dance shoes smell naturally fresh
If you have diabetes, Zumba is a great way to lose weight and build muscle. Your blood sugars will go down as your energy level soars. Check with your doctor to see if you’ll need to change your diabetes treatment plan. Besides losing weight, Zumba can help lower your risk of heart disease, reduce your blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and boost your good cholesterol. If you have heart disease, your doctor may suggest starting back on the road to fitness in a cardiac rehab program instead of jumping right into a Zumba class.