Zumba Zumba!

It has been close to three weeks since my last post. Real life caught up with me big time right after Comic Con.  During Comic Con our company pretty much puts its focus onto the week long convention then plays catch up the Monday after on any work left behind.

In addition to that, I have gained a considerable amount of weight the past 3-4 years. I used to be and was always had a slender frame till I moved to San Diego. My long worked hours made me lazy to eat healthy and I always opted for the easy fast food choice. Back in my younger days, I was one of those people who ate a lot but barely gained weight and brushed it off as having a fast metabolism.  Once I hit my mid 20’s that all changed.   I’m now around 25-30 lbs overweight.

The good news for me is  a Zumba studio just opened up about a stones throw away from my house.  Classes are $5.00 per each 1 hour session and I believe $30.00 of 1 month.  I started Zumba 2 weeks ago.  And these are some pointers I learned as a cold beginner of this fitness crave.

1. DRINK WATER BEFORE YOU BEGIN– I ran straight to Zumba class on my first day. I realized I barely drank anything that afternoon and within 5 minutes of the first routine, I was wheezing bad. For a moment I thought my asthma was going to kick in.  At least the studio had a water fountain nearby.

2. Keep Hydrated. Bring Gatorade and Water. –  On my 2nd class I decided to shower first and drink water before heading to the studio. I also chilled a bottle of Gatorade at the freezer and brought it with me during my session.  Being freshly showered and hydrated, plus drinking a few gulps in between workouts was a HUGE improvement. I was actually keeping up with the routines and felt less exhausted.

3. Warm Up.  This is a pretty basic common sense before you do any type of work out. My Zumba class have some sort of warm up routine, but being I am just starting to be physically active again, I did some stretching and light jogs before hand.  I did not do this on my first day and I was in a world of pain the hour after and well on 3 days later.

4. Choose your workout outfit wisely especially the shoes.  I bought some decent running shoes four months ago and have a good pair of jogging pants. When I started Zumba I did not realize that the routines were pretty intense. My instructor is like the energizer rabbit, the only break we got were during change songs…just enough for us to take a quik sip our water/gatorades.  Having good shoes is a plus. Zumba choreography origins came from dance, incorporating  Salsa and Mambo so there’s a lot of fast foot work. I tried hard to keep up with my instructor  when she does those Salsa moves, I’m pretty much tripping over myself.  Theres a lot of skipping and twisting too so a good set of workout shoes built for these types of routines makes the whole experience easier.

5. Don’t Push yourself, just have fun.  During my first day in Zumba, I was 5 minutes late to class so I missed warm up, I also realized that of the 20 people participating I was the one with the least flexibility, coordination and grace.  My competitive nature made me push hard to try and keep up with the fast choreography, on my first day. I ended up being tense, missing beats, squirming in pain on squats I could not do and feeling self conscious of myself. I also kept looking too much at my instructor trying to keep up with her. It was towards the last 2 songs of our session that my brain just went ” FARK IT!”  And slowed down my moves to what my body felt more comfortable. Looking at the mirror in front of me, I realized that I was actually moving more graceful than I thought.  During my second class, I decided just to go with the flow and relax and only push myself  when needed.   The instructor was helpful in coaching us when to push and do proper posture on crunches. In the end I surprised myself when I danced a routine of mambo (first time) with fewer mistakes than I thought I would have.   Of course my dance moves aren’t as beautiful as something from So You Think You Can Dance, but I felt pretty good about myself and worked up a good sweat.

Zumba is indeed an intense workout and Im sure deepening on where you attend the routines may differ in intensity.  My goal is to at least loose 10 lbs, along with a healthy diet (no more soda) and incorporating jogging to my exercise schedule.  I’m still trying to get use to the muscle aches the day after but compared to day one, I don’t feel like I was hit by the Hulk against a wall. I’ts all good because these are the good type of muscle pains that tells you your body is responding and adjusting to the workout. And nothing a quick shower and maybe an Advil won’t fix afterwards.

  I can’t say now if I have lost weight. I just began 2 classes, one per week and I feel more sore than fit. But A co worker noticed a GLOW with my skin (typical side effect for ppl who workout)  so It means I am heading the right direction.

So Go Me! And for those who may want to try Zumba but are shy. DON’T BE.  Just DO IT! Do this for yourself. As a healthy and fun way to lose weight and be fit.

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