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04 March 2012 @ 07:10 am
Zumba  
I used to love to go for walks. Miles and miles and miles. I don't now. For one, I start huffing and puffing when I've only gone blocks. For another, there are no sidewalks around here but there are coyotes.

I sporadically used the exercise bike. As movement goes, it's about as simple as it gets but it only works my legs and it is incredibly boring.

So now I'm trying Zumba. If you ever have insomnia, you have seen the commercials on early morning TV. It appealed to me for a few reasons. They don't use the words "crunch, burn or rip" in the commercial. I know those are supposed to be good things but "feel the pain" is not what I'm after. I liked that the people in the ad were smiling, not grunting, scowling, or groaning. That seemed promising. Steve reported to me there is a Zumba class that takes place at night across from our store. He said a lot of little old ladies were attending, so that told me it was low impact. And the fact it's dance-based was the clincher. I'm a terrible dancer and yet I love to dance -- that makes me most fit for doing it at home, where the results aren't amusing for other people.

Well, now I've been working on it for almost a week. A trained dancer can watch a move then repeat it. I watch a move, trip over my feet, then watch it again. My kinetic intelligence is zero. It absolutely is good exercise and is good at making you think it won't be. For instance, the beginning move in belly dancing style is an simple waving of the arms, while doing a semi-squat. You'd think maintaining slightly bent knees for five minutes would be simple. Not for me. Halfway through following the demo I began to feel...a burn. But in all the right places -- back of thighs and butt. So I forgive them for not mentioning it will burn and I even forgive the taped instructors for smiling and being peppy while doing it.

I have come to dread the sentence "OK, now let's pick up the beat!" I can follow them while they're doing it at turtle-speed, to show you the movement. Done at pace? Not so much so. I'll get there yet.

I had to laugh at their "Lose a dress size in ten days" program. They suggest alternating between two different routines each day. Know how long the routines are? An hour. An hour of sheer, sweaty, fast-paced aerobic exercise. I totally believe a person would lose ten pounds in ten days doing that. I also believe it will be about six months before I work my way up to half an hour a day, let alone sixty minutes.

That's OK. I am fine with moving up to a few more minutes each day. Five minutes three times a day is useful and I can already tell that I'm improving. Not by the way I look -- it will be weeks before it shows on the outside. But I am starting to be able to keep up at least through the tiny little instructional part of the steps and that's progress.

One sentence I do like is "Let's freestyle!" That means you keep doing the step they are teaching but you are allowed to flail your arms around wildly in any manner that makes you feel good. And that makes me smile, just like the ladies on the DVD. Zumba: So far, I like it.
 
 
 
kaph on March 4th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
Good for you! A friend of mine teaches Zumba, and a lot of other friends love it, but I'm too cowardly to give it a go. :)
roseross on March 12th, 2012 10:50 am (UTC)
I won't be doing it in public in the near future but I'm still finding it to be fun. :-)