Celebrate Hispanic American Heritage Month with Zumba®
Tired of solo runs on the treadmill? If you’re looking to burn calories and have a great time while doing it, you can’t beat the high energy fun of a Zumba® class. The catchy music and engaging choreography make Zumba® feel like a private dance party, rather than an intense workout. Plus, you get to connect with others while you break a sweat!
As we celebrate our Hispanic and Latino friends during Hispanic Heritage Month, we think it’s the perfect time to dive into the origins and health benefits of Zumba®. For over 30 years, this Latin-inspired cardio workout has been motivating folks to get up and get moving together.
How Did Zumba® Get Its Start?
The first unofficial Zumba® class was an accident. It all started in 1986 when Beto Pérez, a dance teacher based in Colombia, misplaced his pop music CD before an aerobics class. Rather than canceling the class (or panicking), Beto decided to improvise.
He popped in a Latin CD from his car and acted as if nothing were amiss. Although he had no choreography prepared, Beto allowed the tempo of the music to guide him. To his surprise, the class ended up being more fun and engaging than his traditional classes—the lively music and dance routines invigorated his students.
Going forward, Beto decided to embrace Latin music and incorporate traditional Latin dance moves. After moving to the United States in 1999, Beto made Zumba® a household name—ever since, Zumba® dance classes have endured in popularity.
Please Don’t Stop the Music
It’s fitting that the first Zumba® class began with music, which is the very thing that keeps these classes going strong today. No matter your age or background, the music used in Zumba® classes gets everybody moving.
That’s because the music and choreography celebrate so many different cultures. Zumba® always maintains its strong ties to Latin music (so you’ll hear a lot of salsa and reggaeton), but you’ll also find that a typical Zumba® playlist is packed with every musical genre, from hip hop to pop music. At Fitness Connection, that kind of inclusion and diversity is something we value.
What Are Some of the Health Benefits of Zumba®?
All it takes is one Zumba® class to see why it’s such a great workout—you get your heart pumping, your body moving, and the social aspect can immediately boost your mental well-being. All fitness levels can enjoy and benefit from a Zumba® class.
The Health Benefits of Zumba®
- Zumba® is a full body workout. During a one-hour session, you’ll target nearly every area of your body!
- You get major cardiovascular benefits. The varying intervals get your heart rate up and boost your metabolism.
- It’s a highly social workout. You’ll probably make a friend or two during a Zumba® class.
- You will build stamina and coordination. With time and repetition, your balance will improve, and your footwork will become more natural.
When Can I Start Dancing?
Zumba® may seem like an intimidating exercise at first, especially if you have no dancing experience. Well, we have an exercise tip for beginners: when it comes to Zumba®, just have fun. Seriously! The great thing about Zumba® is how accessible it is to all fitness levels.
Basic Zumba® Exercise Tips for Beginners
- Just keep moving. Don’t stop, even if you miss a beat!
- It takes practice. The more you dance, the better you’ll move.
- Wear something loose and comfortable. You’ll be moving quite a bit! Check out our ProShop if you need some workout gear.
- Drink water before, during and after your class. Hydration helps you keep up.
Aside from dancing, fun is the main component of Zumba®. Unlike other exercises, you don’t have to be so concerned with nailing every move or following along exactly with your instructor—which makes this an ideal exercise for beginners. If you’re moving around and breaking a sweat, you’re doing great (and burning calories)!
Celebrating Our Diverse Community at Fitness Connection
At Fitness Connection, we love the power of group fitness. Zumba® embraces a wide variety of music, cultures and inspires people of all different backgrounds to get moving together. And as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, this is the perfect time to connect with something new. If you’re ready to find your new favorite playlist (and some new friends), check out our class schedules to see when the next Zumba® class is coming up.