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Zumba is a dance and exercise regime which has 12 million followers throughout the world.

A blend of Columbian salsa, samba and mambo dance moves, martial arts and Bollywood belly dancing – with a selection of squats and lunges thrown in for good measure – Zumba is a fitness craze practised in more than 125 countries across the globe.

It’s the ultimate workout for those looking to keep in trim, tone up the muscles, and lose a little weight in the process.

Celebrities from Victoria Beckham to Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez to Jackie Chan have helped popularise the programme, said to be one of the best all-round training routines for all ages and levels of ability on the dance floor.

Exercise to Music

It’s exercise to music, with a variation of fast and slow rhythms featuring everything from hip hop to flamenco.

From Aqua Zumba in the water to Zumba Gold for older participants, eight different disciplines will burn between 500 and 1,000 calories in an hour-long session.

Zumba was first invented 25 years ago by a Columbian aerobics teacher, who is said to have come up with the idea after forgetting his music before a lesson, and improvising with traditional salsa and merengue tapes he had in his backpack.

After initial success in his home country, he moved to Miami in Florida, produced a demo tape for a fitness firm showing how the concept worked, and spear-headed a direct marketing campaign and line of home videos which captured the imagination of exercise enthusiasts everywhere.

Emphasis is on Fun

Now one of the fastest-growing fitness programmes in the world, Zumba’s emphasis is firmly on fun.

Classes are held in gyms and studios from Asia to Australasia, and the Zumba Wii interactive DVD lets you practise in the privacy of your own home – the Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System has become one of the best-selling home fitness DVDs of all time.

But be warned…followers say that it can be addictive – once you start, you can’t stop!

The eight Zumba disciplines are:-

  • Zumba Fitness – basic exercise to exotic rhythms
  • Zumba Gold – modifies the basic moves to suit active, older participants
  • Zumba Toning – combines body-sculpting exercises with high-energy cardio work to burn the calories and target the arms, abs, buttocks and thighs
  • Aqua Zumba – Zumba in the swimming pool, a challenging, water-based workout
  • Zumbatomic – for children aged between 4 and 12, helping to boost metabolism and enhancing coordination
  • Zumba in the Circuit – high octane dance moves combined with circuit training
  • Zumba Gold Toning – safe and effective strength training aimed at building muscle strength, increasing bone density and improving mobility, posture and co-ordination. Ideal for older people and beginners
  • Zumba Sentao – strengthens, balances and stabilises your core, steps up cardio work and tones your physique – all with the help of nothing more than a solitary chair as your fitness partner!

Nicki Williams is a copy writer for Gear-Zone, where you’ll find everything you need for exercise and fitness training, running and athletics, and team sports including football, rugby and hockey

Picture source: Compfight