Ditch the Workout...Join the Party!

What is a Zumba fitness class like? It's a very exciting dance party atmosphere full of Latin and international music. You'll forget you're working out with the sexy but simple moves to dance music like Cha Cha, Salsa, reggaeton, rumba and more. Best of all, you don't need any previous dance experience!

It's fun and effective, using interval training combining fast and slow rhythms for an effective aerobic workout while at the same time targetting your legs, abs, glutes and arms.

The workout is basically watch and follow. The moves are repeated often enough for you to catch on and they're not complicated. The routines are repeated week after week with additions every now and then to spice things up even more!

According to the Zumba website, "Zumba combines high energy and motivating music with unique moves and combinations that allow the Zumba participants to dance away their worries. It is based on the principle that a workout should be 'FUN AND EASY TO DO' in order for Zumba participants to stick to the Zumba fitness program to achieve long-term health benefits. Zumba is not only great for the body, but it is also great for the mind. It is a 'feel happy' workout."

Zumba is very infectious and is definitely the latest, most exciting fitness sensation! What a fun way to workout to lose weight or just become a healthier new you - you'll love the results. Be sure to bring your family and friends to be a part of the Zumba Fitness party! Check out the Zumba website here for more info: http://www.zumba.com/. Happy Zumba-ing :-)

Zumba with Heather: http://www.energiezumba.com

Jazzercise: How it came to be

This interesting article is thanks to collagevideo.com's newsletter for February 2009:

A chat with
Judi Sheppard Missett

One of fitness' true pioneers is Judi Sheppard Missett, the inventor of Jazzercise. We asked her how it all started. "I was working professionally with a jazz dance company. I was both performing and teaching in their studio. I was instructing those classes as though the students were all going to be professional dancers. But I soon realized that, for the vast majority, professional dance was not their goal at all. They were actually there to have fun or lose a bit of weight.

"So, I decided to try a different approach. I turned people away from the mirrors on the wall. I simplified the moves. And I tried to make the dances simple and fun, with lots of positive reinforcement. The classes grew from 15 to 60 people -- I realized I was on to something. It was a great joy to teach these people who were dancing for the sheer joy of the experience. It was fun and I looked forward to doing it!"

How did that class turn into the Jazzercise? "I moved west and began teaching in the San Diego area. I was teaching so many classes that I lost my voice and got too thin. I believe that there are signs, messages, and cues that tell you what you need to do. My lost voice and too-thin body were signs for me to either cut back or train others. I chose to train others. And, that's how the Jazzercise program began. Currently there are 35,000 Jazzercise classes in 32 countries!"

Wow, that's a huge business success. Did you expect that to happen? "Funny story. My mom was an accountant. She told me that I shouldn't plan on being a business woman because I didn't have a head for 'figures.' But, she was wrong. I ended up having a head both for the 'body' kind and the 'numbers' kind of figures."

Was your mother a big influence in your life? "Yes. My mother stayed at home while I was growing up and she dedicated her life to me. She enrolled me in dance classes at the age of two, and would support me in my early theater and dance performing endeavors. I clearly loved dance and performing and soon began teaching others. She helped me open a dance studio when I was only eleven!"

You've seen a lot in 40 years, any advice for fitness beginners? "The biggest mistake is to do too much, too soon -- it's easy to get discouraged. The best way to get started is to just do something. It doesn't have to be big. Just find what you like and take 'baby steps;' be tolerant of your abilities; be patient as you improve... and most of all, be good to yourself."

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