“Feel the music. Share the love. Zumba.”
One of my co-workers/friends who recently became a certified Zumba instructor gave me a bracelet with these words on it at the first class she instructed.
These words are a great introduction to the numerous benefits of Zumba besides getting in shape, losing weight and being physically healthy. The popular Latin dance-inspired workout routine is a big hit, especially among women.
Zumba might be so popular because many women love dancing, music and socializing with their friends while working out.
Both exercise and social interaction have been shown to boost mood and alleviate mental illness symptoms, so it makes sense that combining both exercise and social interaction would be even more beneficial.
Dance is also considered more of a hobby and fun activity, not generally associated with the dreaded exercise routine.
A motto from Zumba is even “ditch the workout, join the party,” so that can partly explain the appeal of this fitness program.
In my own personal experience going to several Zumba classes, there was another aspect besides dancing and exercising with friends.
I felt a strong sense of empowerment being with so many women in one room, all of us with the common goal of getting healthy together. There were women of all different sizes, ages and appearances, and there was no sense of negativity toward all these differences.
There was no criticizing of other women for not being skinny or pretty enough, there was only positive vibes and acceptance once we stepped into the fitness studio. We all had smiles on our faces and were pumped for the party to start.
And just like most forms of exercise, Zumba gives a much-needed mood lift.
With the upbeat music playing and chemicals flowing with every movement, it seems to counteract any anxiety and depression I experience (at least during that hour class and for a few hours after). After the class is completed, I feel like I accomplished another portion of my fitness goal, along with all the other women or men who attended class.
Zumba can be another common activity that friends can look forward to, and enjoy doing together.