What is Zumba

by Jennifer on January 13, 2014

zumba class Image Credits: alvinailey.org

I am sure you have heard of or know someone who is attending Zumba classes.  But what is Zumba and why is it becoming so popular?  And who is attending these fitness dance classes?  Is it something for everyone?  Can you do it at home or does it have to be a paid class?  We thought we would take a look at Zumba today and all the levels of classes being taught, along with answering a few of the questions we are hearing.

Since its inception in the mid-’90s by creator Alberto “Beto” Perez, the Zumba program reaches 10 million people in more than 90,000 locations across more than 110 countries.

What is Zumba?

Zumba is exercising to music with fast and slow rhythms, as well as resistance training.  Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin music and easy-to-follow dance moves.  The music comes from the following dance styles: cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, cha cha cha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop music, axé music and tango.

Most Zumba classes are about an hour long. They begin with a dynamic warm-up and end with a cool down and some static stretching.  Zumba works by making you lose weight and getting fit through dancing.  Helping you to burn calories and tone your whole body as you’re constantly moving.

Zumba is for everyone, if you can get up and dance you can Zumba.  There are eight different types of classes for different ages and exertion levels.

Zumba Fitness: these classes feature exotic rhythms set to high-energy Latin and international beats.  They are the most common across the nation as this workout is easy to do.

Zumba Toning: this is perfect for body sculpting with the use of toning sticks.   Zumba toning combines body-sculpting exercises and exhilarating music to create a high-calorie burning and strength-training workout.

Zumba Gold:  This type of class is perfect for the largest growing segment of the population: baby boomers and for those starting their journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle.  Zumba Gold takes the Zumba formula and modifies the moves and pacing to suit the needs of the active older participants with easier-to-follow steps.

Zumba Gold-Toning offers the same benefits of a Zumba Gold and Zumba toning class at a safe and effective level for older participants and beginner students.

Aqua Zumba: also known as the Zumba “pool party”.  Aqua Zumba combines the Zumba formula and traditional aqua fitness disciplines making this a challenging water-based workout with cardio-conditioning and body toning.

Zumba Sentao: this type of class is becoming more and more popular.  Zumba Sentao takes the thrill of the fitness-party and partners it with explosive, chair-based choreography to strengthen, balance and stabilize your core, and step up your cardio work in a whole new way.

Zumba in the Circuit: Zumba in the Circuit is 30 minutes of the same exhilarating and fast-beat moves combined with circuit training, a series of strength exercises at timed intervals. This is a great way to get a cardio and strength workout in 30 minutes.

Zumbatomic: This is a great class for kids (ages 4-12) with kid-friendly routines.

It’s important to wear clothing that is moveable, breathable and will wick sweat away. Because of how popular the classes are, the room can heat up fast, so consider dressing in layers that you can remove. Also, sport a pair of supportive fitness shoes that allow you to pivot your feet easily.  And don’t forget to bring water and a towel.  Both are going to be needed.

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Health Benefits Of Blueberries

by Jennifer on October 23, 2013

Who would guess that such a small little berry would have so many health benefits? Blueberries are extremely beneficial to your health in many different ways. There are so many aspects to these small healthy berries that make them a fantastic choice to juice, as a snack or in recipes. Blueberries are great for brain health, full of antioxidants, great for your eye health, and so much more.Health Benefits Of Blueberries

Blueberries For Brain Health

If you want to keep your memory sharp, blueberries are a great choice. When aging occurs your brains neurons, which are responsible for communication, memory and processing thoughts, slow down and communication dwindles. Blueberries contain polyphenols that can actually help restore the communication, in fact, these polyphenols encourage it. Polyphenols can actually allow you to grow new neurons. Blueberries also contain anthocyanin, selenium, vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and so many more that also contribute to healthier brain function and can help to restore and protect the way your brain works.

Heart Protection

Blueberries have an incredibly high fiber content, and when paired with their antioxidant power, they can dissolve cholesterol. It has been found that the content of these berries can also work to strengthen your cardiac muscles. All of these things can prevent heart disease from occurring. Blueberries contain a compound called pterostilbene. Ptersoltilbene can be found in many prescription medicines and works to diminish fats in the blood stream and reduce fatty acids. Ptersoltibene can also help to diminish the possibility of plaque build up on your arteries.

Cancer Prevention

Flavonoids can help to prevent cancer, and blueberries have the highest content of flavonoids in comparison to other fruit options. The Pterostilbene in blueberries can also be extremely beneficial to the prevention and treatment of liver and colon cancers. Blueberries also have vitamin C, Copper and a compound called Anthocyanin, when combined these elements of a noticeable effect on cancer prevention.

Health Of Your Eyes

Blueberries can promote eye health. Macular degeneration, cataracts, and many other age related eye problems can be prevented by consuming blueberries on a regular basis. This is due to the high content of antioxidants called carotenoids. Carotenoids are the pigment in vegetables and berries that give them their color, and they also work to promote healthier eyes. Along with vitamins and minerals contained in blueberries, the carotenoids work to build healthier eyes.

High In Antioxidants

Antioxidants are extremely beneficial to your health in many ways. Antioxidants can boost your immune system, neutralize free radicals and so much more. Blueberries have  one of the highest content of antioxidants when compared to other fruits. Blueberries contain Immune system boosting antioxidants that can help ward of infections and viral ailments.

Fresh or frozen, blueberries pack many health benefits that you want to ensure you are reaping. Juice them, add them to salads, desserts and yogurts and start feeling the exciting benefits of blueberries today.

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