We all know of exercise fads that experience intense popularity and then just as quickly, fade back into obscurity. Such was the fate of aerobic classics like jazzercise, Tae bo, and Cindy Crawford home fitness videos. But don’t throw away your spandex and sweat bands just yet. You wouldn’t want Jane Fonda disappointed in you. The truth is, some fads are worth maintaining. And moms of the world, we need to unite in order to save the best one from extinction: Zumba.
It’s cardio at its best
I hate running and I know you do, too. I’m fairly certain “runner’s high” is just a government conspiracy to monitor the effects of prolonged torture. But that’s why I love Zumba! It’s just about the only cardio activity that doesn’t feel like a slow and painful death. Dancing ramps up those endorphins to the point that you don’t mind sweating profusely and enduring a cramp here and there. You’re working hard and you don’t even realize it (OK, so maybe “runner’s high” is real). Plus, you get a seriously awesome core workout in the process. So breathe through that cramp, grab some water, and get back at it girl!
It will make you smile
Self-conscious? Afraid to debut your two left feet? Get over it. Mamas, we spend our days shouldering an unhealthy amount of stress in the name of keeping our little minions alive and happy. But you know what? You deserve to be happy too! And listening to spicy Latin music sans children can definitely make you smile. Besides everybody else is tripping over their feet too. It’s fine. I promise. Shake off those cobwebs and it won’t be long before you’re rediscovering your clubbing days when you couldn’t care less how uncoordinated you were because you were confident in yourself (and maybe downed a shot or two). You weren’t a good dancer then either but people liked you anyway.
It gets you out of the house
OK, I guess you could technically do it at home but, really, where’s the fun in that? As mothers, we tend to develop a nasty habit of putting ourselves last. In the event that we carve time out of the day for physical activity at all, it’s either endless rounds of airplane and horseback rides with the kids (that counts, right?) or a quick video workout in the living room. I know it’s hard to find time to actually leave the house for a workout but, when you do, you will be glad you did. “Me time” is rejuvenating—it’s energizing, and frankly, it’s hard to come by in the confines of your own home. So coordinate with your man and then peel out of your driveway like the rebel inside you that’s dying to get out!
You’ll re-learn to shake what your mama gave you
Speaking of your man, he will learn to encourage your Zumba habit if he knows what’s good for him. Your hips will shake and shimmy in ways you forgot they could and, by the time you leave, you will feel sweaty, strong, and sexy. Who says you need to get dolled up and waste your good make-up to feel like a fox? Turns out, your guy was telling the truth when he said you looked prettiest au natural. For once, you’ll believe him, and want to shake those hips at home as well.
You won’t get bored
The idea of learning specific dance steps is usually what turns people off because they are so self-conscious and aware of their mistakes. But the reality is, that’s what keeps it interesting! Attending a class the first few times does require some focus but when both your mind and body are active, the time (and calories) will fly! Counting reps or watching the seconds inch by on a treadmill? No, thanks. I’m a busy mom, I no longer have the mental stamina to willingly torture myself. My kids have that base covered. But the really cool thing about Zumba is that once muscle memory takes hold, your body seems to work out on command. Song after song, your feet will find their finesse and you will enjoy every moment.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a friend, let go of your reservations, and get to dancing. No excuses. Your body and your babe will thank you.