That is the question. There is not a rhythmic bone in my body. When the instructor motions left, I go right. My hips have a mind of their own, and it's not the right mind. I'm really, really bad at Zumba - and I've been doing it for over two years now. You get the picture. But the thing is - it's the most fun exercise I do every week. And the clothes are cute.
Obviously this is not me (see the paragraph above). But see how cool her workout gear is? As an added bonus, all of the instructors are encouraging and positive. The other people in the class are having a blast, the music is upbeat and I always leave in a good mood. What's not to like?
Doing a little cardio every day is really important, especially for us in the over 40 crowd. It helps keep your anxiety levels down, makes you fit and strong, slows menopausal weight gain, increases your energy level, and it's good for your bones.
I used to do all my cardio at home. I went outside for a walk, ran on the treadmill, or put in a DVD. It was fine, but I was getting bored. And getting bored is never good when you're trying to motivate yourself to get up and get moving every day.
A few years ago my sister suggested we join a Zumba class together. My response? Absolutely - no - way. I'd heard of Zumba, and I was sure it wasn't for me. I'm the poster child for white bread middle american mom who can't dance. Remember Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? THAT'S how I bust a move. And I was not going to subject a bunch of strangers to my unique version of dancing.
Three days later we were on our way to the class. My little sister talks me into things nobody else can. It must be leftover guilt from the mean things I did to her when we were kids. Anyway.
We arrived, signed in, and picked a spot in the BACK of the class. I checked out the room. There were a few girls in their 20's but most looked to be my age or older. This was an encouraging sign. Maybe I could do this! The instructor bounced to the front and announced, "If you don't look ridiculous, you aren't doing it right". Well, I could certainly work with that.
The hour went by in a flash. I missed 99% of the moves, but nobody noticed because they were having so much fun. Only my sister called me Carlton, but I'm a pro at ignoring her. A couple of times I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and I was smiling.
Several years later, I still go to Zumba twice a week. I've lost ten pounds and I THINK I saw an ab the other day. My hips have loosened up a little bit, although I'm never going to look like JLo dropping my booty to the floor. I've made friends with several of the ladies in my class, and I always head out with a smile on my face, ready to face the day. I even own a few of the cute clothes. To Zumba or not to Zumba?
The answer is most definitely Zumba.
By the way, if I haven't convinced you to give a Zumba class a try, you can always start with a DVD at home. Part of the fun is the interaction with the other students, but if you're not ready, I won't judge :).
Linking up with Funday Monday.