Outside the Comfort Zone: My First Zumba Class … Ever

Zumba

Muy caliente!

My hips are exuberant … partly because of the Latin music pulsing through my living room and partly because I’m having a happy throwback to my Jane Fonda days back in college. Yes, I just dated myself, but I had so much fun, I don’t mind.

The challenge to get out of my comfort zone this week is to do a workout I’ve never done before. The folks at Harvard Pilgrim have asked myself and another great blogger, Mommy Niri, to challenge each other during the month of October. Last week, I cooked with kale and next week will be all about meditation. But this is new workout week.

For Niri, that meant Pilates and she came to my studio, Modern Pilates, to take a private lesson with one of my instructors. (It was supposed to be me, but I had a 100+ degree fever and thought it best not to breathe on anyone. One of these days Niri, we will meet!)

When I spoke with Niri on the phone to plan our individual fitness challenges, it went something like this …

Niri:  I’m sure you’ve done everything like Zumba …
Me (interrupting): I’ve never done Zumba!  It’s been on my list forever!
Niri:  Well there you go … do Zumba!

The idea this month is to “wake ourselves up” through these challenges, and we hope others who are aiming to live more healthfully will also be prodded to try something different too. Feel free to report back if you give it a go.

Getting my Zumba class in proved a bit difficult, both because of the aforementioned cold, and thanks to a little incident this past Friday night where a knife sliced the wrong way into some broccoli and caused a little ER trip and four stitches. Instead of going to a nearby Zumba-only health club (yes, they have them), I decided to try a DVD I’ve had at my home forever.

Side Note:  Sometimes life really does get in your way, but be open to how you can adapt your workouts in order to still do something active … even if it’s just butt squeezes in your chair while waiting for the ER doc to see you.

Back to the Zumba. I’m in my living room, the music is pumping, and I’m waiting for Hopalong Catastrophe to come out. She’s my alter ego who has two left feet and feels about as graceful as an elephant. But the songs and moves are broken down simply, the pace picks up gradually, and it really is all about the hips. I’m shaking and moving and grooving and having a pretty darned good time. First you learn a few steps, then you add in some arms, then you pick up the pace. Each song boosts the tempo a bit more and Latin music really is fun. I even shimmied my shoulders a few times and didn’t feel like a dork. Then again, no one was watching.

Zumba is a pretty impressive company in the fitness industry.  They skyrocketed to mass popularity almost out of nowhere, becoming one of the top fitness trends of 2010, and quickly created an empire complete with a clothing line, instructor training program, and an extensive DVD collection. I don’t think Zumba is going anywhere anytime soon.

You should try a class or DVD if you have any inclination to shake your booty.  Zumba is a dance-y, high energy, female-oriented workout. Yes, guys will definitely have fun too, but they’ll have to be okay with hip swivels and shoulder shimmies.

As for me, I’m still planning on going to that Zumba studio sometime this month because now that I’ve gotten a taste for it, I really want the full class experience. Let me know if you’ve tried Zumba and whether or not you like it.

(Full disclosure: Harvard Pilgrim is paying me for this series of posts, but I am very definitely writing with full editorial control. Mommy Niri and I came up with the challenges on our own.  Don’t forget to check out how she made out with her Pilates session!)

Cheers,
Lisa

photo credit: Zumba

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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2 Responses to Outside the Comfort Zone: My First Zumba Class … Ever

  1. Niri October 9, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    How about we take our 2 pairs of left feet to a Zumba class? I took a few and though the cardio was great, the choreography kept me stumped. I have zero rhythm, and worse still I dance like I just don’t care – makes for fun entertainment. Hats off to you girl for being sick and deciding to (almost) lose a finger and keep going. But then again, you’re fab like that!

  2. Lisa Johnson October 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    LOL thanks Niri and I’d love to do Zumba with you!

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