Reasons to Have Zumba Your Winter Workout

Do you like to sweat, smile, and wave your hands in the air like you don’t care? So Zumba – a fast-paced aerobic dance fitness workout – was accidentally invented in 2011 when aerobic dance instructor Beto Perez came to class with the wrong playlist (yes, really) – and might be the right way to warm up this winter. In February of this year, I took the time to do #SELFish and attended Jameela Jamil’s SELFish Carnival in Hollywood at Zumba. I spoke with Zumba education expert Gina Grant and learned the top six reasons why you should start doing Zumba, like, yesterday! I want to know, why are you doing Zumba?

You’ll burn calories.
This one may be obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that you are actually exercising in such a fun and free class. Not only can you burn tons of calories, shake your booty and learn moves from salsa, bachata, Bollywood and more, but you can also “lose weight, increase stamina, improve core strength and tone your entire body,” according to Grant.

It’s a way to reduce stress.
We live in a fast-paced “go-go-go” world. With little time to stop for a meal or a walk in the park, it’s important to indulge and relieve some stress once in a while. So, find a class that matches your schedule, turn off your phone for an hour, and dance to your heart’s content. You won’t regret it.

This is much needed “me” time.
At Zumba’s SELFISH Carnival, Good Place star, activist and badass baby Jameela Jamil talked about taking time out of the day to “be unapologetically selfish”. To that end, we played carnival games, did a few sets of Zumba and drank delicious smoothies. The nearly 60 attendees and I happily dedicated the evening to ourselves and our health. So please, take some “me time” and find a Zumba class nearby and you will thank yourself.

There are many kinds of classes.
Whether you’re looking for a standard dance class, or one for seniors, kids, or even a dance class in the pool (seriously, Aqua Zumba Zumba is good), there’s something for you. According to Grant, “There’s Zumba Kids + Kids Jr. which is a Zumba class for kids ages 4-12, Zumba Gold for active seniors or unconditioned individuals, Aqua Zumba and water classes, Zumba Step for those who want a dance class with great music, Zumba Toning for tone and dance, Zumba Toning for ‘Mom and Me’ classes, Zumbini for ‘Mom and Me’ classes, and Strong By Zumba for a non-dance HIIT class. So, you can try one or all! (Well, if you’re not under 12, don’t try the children’s class, you might get a laugh).

You’ll form a community.
Some people go to church, some go to Zumba! (Maybe you can go both). There’s no better way to make a new friend (or seven) and then sweat around them for an hour. If you become a regular in a certain class, chances are you’ll find your “favorite spot” and start befriending the people who stand around you. Then, maybe you can all go for a cup of tea or a healthy snack after class. It’s simple, as Grant says, all you have to do is “go to Zumba.com, enter your zip code and find the class nearest you.

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It’s open to everyone.
If it wasn’t already obvious, Zumba is for “anyone and everyone,” says Gina Grant.” You can use dance to get rid of your worries and not worry about being judged. Dancing, like no one is watching, is actually a thing!” .
Seriously, it doesn’t matter what size you are, what body type you are, or if you’re a good dancer or not, getting on the Zumba train is part of Jameela Jamil’s whole mission as an activist. She said of Zumba on her own Instagram, “I love sports that don’t aim for weight loss or vanity. It’s just about moving, having and listening to good music.” She’s absolutely right. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for the course now!

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