Zumba Love, Pt. 2

I’m back to talk about my new love, Zumba, and how it’s been fitting in with my overall goal of staying healthy and some tips and information I’ve picked up along the way! This is a new endeavor for me, as mentioned in my previous post, so I am in NO WAY, shape or form an expert on this subject. I’m simply sharing my knowledge and experience, and hope to inspire others to go down the same path! Of course, talk to your doctor before implementing any major changes in your lifestyle.

I’ve never been the type to really worry about my weight. It seems like I’ve always fallen directly in the middle of the average range – not stick skinny, but not overweight, either. Like any girl, I’ve always struggled with keeping my thighs, hips and stomach at a size where I feel comfortable showing them off. I’m by no means immune to muffin tops and bulges, but I’ve never been the type to obsess over my appearance. As long as I’m not falling out all over the place, I’m usually happy with how I look. Thus, my goal as of late is to simply move towards being healthier and trying to keep my midsection under control. I’m in a wedding this summer, so I decided to use that as a benchmark for trying to shed a few pounds here and there and trying to maintain a lifestyle that, in turn, helps me maintain a body I’d hopefully be proud to show off.

Before moving forward, I want to stress that you should do what feels right to YOU! It’s my goal to lose a few pounds before the summer; I’m not saying everyone should do this, nor am I judging anyone who has different goals (or no goals at all!). You can of course Zumba without having a weight-loss goal – in fact, that’s mostly how I’ve been operating thusfar. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a common theme for many people, so I thought I’d throw it out there for consideration.

The biggest thing I want to emphasize is to take baby steps towards your goal. Expecting that you’ll be able to go from never working out to doing so 4 days a week an hour each time is ambitious and commendable – but probably not realistic. Don’t get down on yourself if it takes a month or two for you to get your workout routine to where you’d ideally like it to be, and especially don’t get down on yourself if you don’t see results right away! There’s a lot more that goes into achieving fitness goals than simply working out (which I’ll touch on in later entries!), and it all takes time. Be patient and pick something you love that you’re happy to stick to and will look forward to doing. We all know what that was for me, in case you’ve been asleep this whole time – Zumba! ;)

So, how does Zumba fit into my goal? One thing I’ve noticed is that it’s great cardio but not always great toning. I really should do ab workouts before/after Zumba (probably before, only because I know I’d use exhaustion as an excuse not to after!), but until I find a system I like and that works, I just try to get in toning wherever possible in class. I try to push myself to squat low, squeeze hard and focus my energy on burning fat wherever and whenever I can!

I actually was flipping through the radio after Zumba the other night and John Tesh happened to be talking about workout tips. One thing he mentioned that I thought was very true was the importance of exercise intensity. You can walk on the treadmill for an hour, but if you’re not pushing yourself and your heart rate, it’s basically useless. He mentioned that if you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation. Definitely true for Zumba! I still find myself completely out of breath after many songs, and this goes along with the benefit of going to class regularly and learning the routines – once you stop worrying about the footwork and whether or not you look stupid, you can focus on pushing yourself and just having fun!

I see so many people in class looking around nervously, only putting in a quarter of the effort they could be and not really trying to have fun: barely jumping, moving only haphazardly and without conviction, not really doing anything to make it look they’re even halfway interested in being in class. This makes me sad because a) hello, do you SEE your instructor up there flailing her arms and jumping around like she’s nuts? She’s not actually nuts (okay, maybe she’s a little nuts), she’s trying to inspire you to let go and just have fun! And b) if these people were to drop their inhibitions and really push themselves, they’d be getting a great workout. These people are probably not having fun because they’re not trying, so they’re going to quit after 2 weeks when they see no results and chalk it up to Zumba being lame and not working. IT WORKS! You just have to leave your worries at the door and just dance, that’s it. :)

Up next in the Zumba series queue: diet, Vibrams, and of course, my Basic 1 Training session on SATURDAY!! :)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. truck games for kids
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 00:27:13

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my audience would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.


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