““My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she turned sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.” Ellen DeGeneres

Although this, of course, is a joke …if you would like to have so much fun exercising and feeling great that you forget what day it is, try Zumba!

The Roots of Zumba

In 1986 Founder of Zumba, Alberto Perez, was living in Colombia teaching as an aerobics instructor. One day he arrived to class and realized he had forgotten his music tapes for his aerobics classes. The only tapes he had in his bag were music from different Samba artists. So instead of cancelling class he decided to improvise a new type of aerobics class and threw on the Samba tunes and taught the impromptu rhythm class. Everyone loved it, and Zumba was born.

Over the years Alberto created the more elaborate classes which are available now incorporating elements from Samba, Salsa, Merengue, hip-hop, Mambo and martial arts. Individual instructors may also incorporate additional fitness moves like squats and lunges into their routines depending on the goal of their individual styles.

In 2001 Alberto Perez moved to the United States and partnered with a local company in New York bringing Zumba to the States.

Length of Classes

Most Zumba classes run for 50 to 60 minutes and are high intensity cardiovascular in nature. There are some instructors who are also creating Zumba classes in the pool “Aqua Zumba” and Zumba for Senior Citizens.

Benefits of Zumba

Being a cardio exercise and dance, Zumba is a great activity for building the heart muscle. It is also a great way to build bone density to prevent Osteoporosis. According to Dr. Schonstadt, Osteoporosis affects 10 million individuals a year. 68% of these are women. In order to prevent Osteoporosis, exercises that are weight-bearing in nature are suggested. These include walking, running, weight-lifting, yoga, aerobics and similar activities. So Zumba is an excellent way of keeping your bones healthy and strong.

Because exercise can be fun!

Not only is Zumba a cardio beneficent, bone-building, 500 calorie burning activity, it is also fun! Whether you are coordinated or not, it is an exhilarating and refreshing way to stay fit and healthy. Instructors are able to assist any level of individual no matter their coordination or dance skill level.

Just have fun and be playful.