It is estimated that approximately 15 million people take weekly Zumba classes in over 200,000 locations across 180 countries, no doubt it’s one of the most popular fads of the fitness world. Like the exercise form, the story behind its creation is equally enticing. Alberto Perez, who is considered the creator of Zumba, was a celebrity fitness trainer in the mid-90s and one day, walked into his aerobics class to realize he had forgotten his music. He grabbed a tape of his favourite traditional Latin, salsa and merengue music and completed the class, and like they say rest is history.
Alberto took the concept to the United states in 1999 after its success in his home country of Colombia and soon the name Zumba was trademarked. Initially it was sold through videos and targeted to the Hispanic market soon became a global fitness fad.
Zumba today is a widely accepted form of aerobics and is a trademark owned by Zumba Fitness, LLC and it involves various forms of dance like hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue ,mambo combined with aerobic movements, squats and lunges all performed to energetic music from traditional Latino music forms likecumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop music, axé music and tango.
In a typical 1 hour session of Zumba, one burn between 500-1000 calories depending on the energy the individual puts into the class. There are nine different types of classes for different levels of age and exertion. While Zumba Gold is a program for beginners and older individuals, Zumba Step is a lower-body workout. Zumba Toning is a cardio workout plus strength training with toning sticks and target the abs, thighs, arms, etc. Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr. sessions are designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12. Zumba Gold-Toning, targeted at older participants helps in improving one’s muscle strength, posture, mobility, and coordination. Zumba Sentao is a chair workout that focuses on using body weight to strengthen and tone the body. Aqua Zumba® blends the Zumba® philosophy with traditional aquatic fitness disciplines, and combines it into a refreshing workout that tones your body. Since water creates natural resistance, it has less impact on your joints but it is a high-energy exercise that can be a part of your fitness routine.
If you wish to give this form of exercise a shot and you are in Bangalore, a good place to start is the Tribe fitness club started by Shwetambari Shetty, a Zumba Fitness Master Trainer and a Nike Trainer for Nike+ Training Club, India, and Sudeep Kulkarni, a CrossFit L1 Coach. Tribe is a fitness community that believes in the power of synergy. You start off with rubbing shoulders with strangers who eventually become friends, and inspire each other to strive hard. Here, you build real relationships with the people around you, which has a massive motivational and emotional effect on your fitness!!