Getting Out of a Fitness Rut – A Gym Rat Tries Zumba
Getting Out of a Fitness Rut by Dana Waggener
Recently, I read an article online about the biggest mistakes we make in our fitness routines. According to the health editors at MORE Magazine, one of the classic mistakes that smart women make in their fitness routines is doing the same routine all the time (read all 31 tips here). I’ve always known that it’s important to switch it up for better results, but we are all guilty of getting into a “fitness rut”. It’s just so easy to always do the same thing. If you can list out your workout plans for the coming week on a Sunday (GUILTY as charged) it might be time to try something new. After all, variety is the spice of life, right?
So, I devised a personal experiment; try one new fitness class per week that I had never tried before. This posed a challenge for me, ask anyone in the Stonewear offices, I’ve gone to ALOT of fitness classes….Athletic Intervals, Ski Fit, Cycling, Climbing Training Classes (check out Team of 2 Training Online!), Yoga Sculpt… I’ve done it all and more. The Stonewear team will tell you that I’m a Certified, Grade A, Gym Rat.
BUT, there are tons of classes that I’ve never tried. So during the month of April, I tried 4 new classes, one per week, and I have the low-down about each class for you here.
Read about my first week trying Barre here.
Week 2 Zumba:
I wanted to include at least one dance-style fitness classes in my fitness experiment, even though I HATE dance fitness classes. I really do not like feeling like I’m making a fool of myself, and trust me; I am making a fool of myself in any dance choreography fitness class. In the name of research, I decided to squash my pride for an hour to try out Zumba (you’re welcome).
I set out early on a Saturday morning to my fitness club to try a Zumba class. Zumba is a dance fitness program that combines different types of dance choreography like, hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, and mambo. The classes are set to upbeat Latin and contemporary pop and hip-hop music.
The class I attended started with upbeat music, easier movements to get our bodies warmed up and from then on we just kept moving for the whole hour. The hour was jam-packed with simple choreographed movements that were fairly easy to follow, set to super fun music. When one song ended, another song began–meaning no break in between–which was great to keep my heart-rate up. The music was a mix of really popular hip-hop and pop songs and Latin music. We even danced to the “Happy” song. My favorite was our dance set to Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” because for about a millisecond I kind of felt like a hip-hop dancing gangster (um NOT, but I can pretend, right?).
WARNING! Pride-squashing confession coming at you! ZUMBA IS FUN. I never thought I could go to a dance fitness class and actually enjoy it – even if I was making a fool of myself. It was a blast! I’ll attribute most of the fun factor experienced in this Zumba class to two things: 1. a GREAT instructor, 2. letting go of my inhibitions, just going with it, and having fun.
In a nutshell, Zumba is a fun, low-impact workout. You won’t get a crazy-hard, extra sweaty, arms falling off, legs heavy, your-heart-might-explode workout from Zumba, but you will get a decent sweat and an hour of fun. It’s great if you want to try something new. It would be great fun to go with your girlfriends for a different take on Friday night fun.
My best suggestions for trying Zumba: find an instructor that will make the class fun and easy to follow, and if you are not a candidate for So You Think You Can Dance? (like me) and fear being embarrassed by your lack of dancing-skills, don’t look in the classroom mirrors…and if you do, just laugh it off and keep dancing!
What’s your favorite way to mix up your exercise routine? Tweet us @stonewear.
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