I've heard friends rave about Zumba. What does it involve, and is it a good aerobic workout?Answer from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin music and easy-to-follow dance moves. Zumba routines incorporate interval training, alternating fast and slow rhythms and resistance training. Zumba's fans say it's so popular because Zumba is a fun way to work out.
Some research indicates that dance-type aerobic workouts like Zumba can improve cardiopulmonary endurance when done at moderate intensity and duration. The bottom line is if you enjoy Zumba, you're more likely to stick with it — and more likely to enjoy the benefits of aerobic exercise.
As with any exercise, if a certain movement or position causes you pain, try to modify the workout to avoid the aggravating activities. And anytime you're training with resistance, remember that proper technique is key — don't get so caught up in the dance rhythm that you forget proper form.
I sure wish I could do Zumba, but what with all my osteoarthritic problems like having had two back surgeries (one was a triple fusion leaving me with 7 pins holding me together) and a weakened ankle due to two breaks and a serious sprain plus bad knees, it probably would not be a good fit for me. But I have heard from others that it's lots of fun! Since I'm a fan of "Dancing With the Stars," I've become a wannabe Zumba cum Latin ballroom dancer after a secret lifelong passion to have been a Radio City Rockette. We always dream of being or doing something we can't, don't we? Oh well, I'll continue to use the recumbent bike, walk, and swim and enjoy being a voyeur while listening to all that cool Latin music.
We're now at the end of the 13th round of ABC Wednesday with the letter Z, so don't be shy - sign up to be part of the team! Tell your friends and family that we're a great group of zesty zealots who love the zither, zombies and zucchini. Thanks to the zippy Denise and the zany Roger for being the creator and administrator respectively. By the way, did you know that a zampogna is an Italian bagpipe? And a zel is a form of Oriental cymbal. Also, a zho is a cross between a yak and a cow. See y'all in Round 14 starting next week!