What moves your hips, makes you sweat, increases bone density, and makes you smile all at the same time? Zumba!
Combining aerobic moves with Latin dance styles including salsa and meringue, Zumba encourages its participants to follow both the beat and their instructor. Zumba mastermind, Alberto Perez, credited with founding the dance accidentally during an aerobics class, describes Zumba as a dance party rather than a workout.
Recommended by doctors for the purpose of strengthening bones, dancing is a weight-bearing activity that provides an excellent workout for the upper body while also generating muscle. Zumba's bone strengthening qualities are particularly valuable to menopausal women as the transition's side effects can leave women susceptible to osteoporosis.The Latin dance workout is just what the doctor ordered for building bone density, raising heart rate, strengthening muscle, and simultaneously promoting good mental well-being!
Curious about the latest fitness craze? Read on to discover how Zumba can help you deal with menopause.
It's not a typical day at the gym
With the trademark slogan “Party yourself into shape” Zumba's emphasis on fun makes it an appealing fitness option for people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and gender.
You can personalize your routine
You don't need to be a dance expert to enjoy Zumba, as long as you're constantly moving and having a good time, you're doing it right. Don't panic if you find yourself struggling with a particular move, just take one step at a time and alternate the movements in your upper and lower body.
It builds muscle
Women transitioning through menopause are more likely to develop osteoporosis, its important therefore that menopausal women focus on building muscle and bone strength. Fortunately, in addition to aerobic related heart health benefits, workouts like Zumba build muscle and bone density. Every move, jump, and spin a women makes during the "dance party" is actively protecting her body.
It's the complete package
Zumba's is not just dancing, and it's not just aerobics, which leaves it providing the perfect combination of benefits for those who want both cardio training and lean muscle toning. In addition to the workouts cardio and weight-bearing advantages, Zumba allows women to stretch out their muscles and improve balance and coordination.
You can do Zumba at home
Because Zumba is as much about following the music as it is about coordinated steps, all you really need to practice it from home is a good pair of tennis shoes and some music. Additionally, the internet hosts a wealth of easy to follow instructional videos for beginners, those looking to expand their dance steps, and everyone in between.
More about Zumba
If you're working out from home, try mixing traditional salsa and meringue songs with new-school reggaeton, cumbia, and samba. This mix will give you a fun variety of rhythms and beats. Follow this link to learn more about other workout routines for preventing osteoporosis.
- Cleveland Clinic.(n.d)."Menopause and Osteoporosis". Retrieved from http://my.clevelandclinic.org
- American Physical Therapy Association.(n.d)."What You Need to Know about Osteoporosis". Retrieved from www.apta.org.
- New York State Department of Health. (n.d)."Calcium and Healthy Bones" Retrieved from www.health.state.ny.us.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation.(n.d)."Prevention: Who's at Risk". Retrieved from www.nof.org.