Get off the couch and master the Zumba to get fit
This could well be the answer to every couch superman's dreams. Zumba, the dance-cum-fitness regime that has caught the fancy of millions, is one of those things you can simply walk in and register for. Zumba education specialist Sucheta Pal tells Dhiman Chattopadhyay how to master this exotic-sounding workout regime
>> Get that posterior up from your throne (read: the couch). Yes we know you can’t remember the last time you went out for a run and the tennis you play is all in your dreams. Zumba could well be the perfect remedy. How so?
>> Get dressed in the wackiest and most colourful clothes on the planet. No one will laugh. It makes you feel young and want to do fun things. Go on a shopping spree to buy the official Zumbawear (yes, there are such clothes!).
>> The toughest part could well be walking into the reception and signing up for a class. That’s when you think of all those fun hikes you have been missing, or the times when girls gave you the brush-off because you didn’t have the energy to dance. Once you cross the line and walk into the class though, it is most likely that you will see 30 more happy faces who have as little idea as you about what to do next. No six-pack guy flexing his muscles and making you feel inferior. No size zero women around either.
>> Right. Now that you are in, get down and groove! All the music being played in class is usually chartbusters and the top 20 singles of the month. The music is international and could combine salsa, meringue, tango, flamenco, samba and even bhangra.
>> Yes, we did say that learning Zumba does not mean you need to hit the gym first. But here’s one golden rule: always start the class with a warm up session. Never miss that. You don’t want to end up feeling sore next morning, do you?
>> Here you go then. Let the music begin. Watch the instructor keenly. He or she will probably start with a meringue from the Dominican Republic, move to the sexy Cumbia stuff from Colombia and so on. The trick is to start by looking carefully at how the instructor’s feet are moving. Once you feel a little confident, bend down to the hips and follow with the hands. Every time you want to give up, tell yourself Shakira has admitted she got her awesome figure by doing the Zumba!
>> Every Zumba class/session will have some high intensity songs like a reggaeton and a samba followed by low intensity songs like a salsa and a flamenco. Pump it up during the high- intensity ones and catch your breath during the low-intensity ones. You will end up getting the most effective workout, burning anywhere between 500-800 calories during a single class.
>> In an hour, you have danced to the tunes of a dozen countries, sweated off last night’s red velvet cake, felt your sexiest best and made a few new friends in the bargain!
>> Head home on a high, but before that one last thing: Always cool down and do some stretches before you get into the car and drive off. Ignore this rule at your peril.
And here are three final tips:
>> Follow your instructor’s steps and don’t overdo things
>> Take regular water breaks
>> Lose yourself in the music and don’t worry about a few wrong steps. You will get it correct soon enough