Working out and eating right is the key to strutting your stuff in your favorite “skinny” jeans or shimmying your way into that special dress. The thing is… it’s hard to stick to a workout plan. But what if we told you that there’s a better way to lose weight than to strap yourself into an exercise bike? Zumba. It may sound like an exotic word, but we promise you that it will become a regular phrase in your vocabulary.
What is Zumba?
Zumba is an aerobic fitness class inspired by movements in Latin American dance. It was created in the 1990s and unlike beepers, this craze isn’t going away any time soon. The best thing about Zumba? It’s perfect for every age and fitness level. Whether you’re hopping onto the fitness bandwagon or you’re taking a break from your rigorous spin schedule, your body will definitely benefit from a class or two. You may even find yourself practicing your new dance moves with your 5-year-old in the kitchen. Many people swear by Zumba for weight loss. Below are some of our favorite tips to get the most our of your workout – and slip into your old jeans faster.
Go to class. Don’t watch a video.
Like any trendy thing (froyo, anyone?), there are so many options, your head will spin. You could take classes at your local gym, buy DVDs, or even purchase a Zumba video game. Which one is the most effective for weight loss? Ask yourself this: Is it feasible to tear your children away from their game console long enough for you to sneak in a workout? Probably not. And you could invest in some DVDs, but you already spend most of your evenings in front of the television. Be honest with yourself. While working out in the comfort of your home may sound like a good idea, we bet that you’ll switch off the video after a few minutes in favor of that overflowing laundry bin you see in the corner.
Physically going to a Zumba class is what may make or break your results. Zumba is all about the atmosphere – the rhythmic music, enthusiastic teacher, and classmates who aren’t afraid to shake their tail feather. Zumba is a killer workout no matter where you go, but you’ll get a much better workout (and have a much better time) by attending a class.
Get into the groove.
In order to see results, you need to go several times a week. Just like how eating one salad won’t make you skinny, going to a Zumba class once in a blue moon won’t help you shed those few extra pounds. There are several benefits of attending Zumba on a regular basis:
- Scheduled workouts: You’re a busy bee, no doubt. That’s why group fitness classes like Zumba are perfect for moms. Each class is at the same time every week, so you can easily pencil it into your schedule and arrange errands around them.
- Learn the choreography: Even if you have two left feet, we promise that the steps in Zumba aren’t as complicated as they seem. For several weeks at a time, each Zumba class is composed of the same songs and moves, allowing the crowd to get familiar with the movements. The more you go, the easier the steps will become. And pretty soon you’ll find yourself learning the more advanced movements.
Give it your all.
You get out what you put in. A Zumba class is only 1 hour long – that’s just 4% of your day. Can you commit yourself to channeling all of your energy into working out for just 60 minutes? After a few classes, challenge yourself to trade in your modified moves for regular or advanced. Maybe press “pause” on the amount of water breaks you take. Sink deeper into your lunges, and don’t take a breather in the middle of a song. While you shimmy, make sure you draw your belly button into your spine. These tips will make your muscles work harder. You’ll be one step closer to earning your dream body.
Stick to a healthy diet.
Whether you count calories, macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats), or how many servings of veggies you eat in the day, your eating plan doesn’t matter as long as it’s balanced and healthy. Are you working your way towards a flat stomach? Remember that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. The number one reason why people don’t see results from Zumba class is because they overestimate the amount of calories they burn during class. While Zumba is an excellent cardio workout, the amount of calories burned depends on dozens of factors. Instead of depending on online calorie calculators to see how many you burned, invest in a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor. Fitness trackers are much more accurate because they can gauge how hard you worked.