As exercise crazes go, Zumba has got to be one of the biggest around right now. We explain all there is to know about the Latin-inspired dance workout.
What is Zumba?
Zumba is a dance workout that's great for all-over toning and fitness. You don't need to be a great dancer to do it, and it be great fun to drag your mum, sister and friends along to with you. It aims to make exercise more enjoyable and sexy (so your man can join in too!), while helping you lose weight and tone up. Your local gym will probably host Zumba classes, if not you can find your closest class at zumba.com. The sessions are generally easy to follow but if you're worried about lacking co-ordination, a few classes will help you get into the dance routines. It's like a fast-paced salsa class with extra bum shaking!
How does it work?
Zumba works by making you lose weight and get fit through dancing. By the end of it you'll have worked up a real sweat - without doing any mundane sit-ups or star jumps. Zumba classes are packed full of people of all ages, and the majority are there to have a good giggle and get fit at the same time, so don't worry that you'll feel out of place. You'll also get to learn the basic skills of cumbia, salsa, samba and merengue dancing.
How will it change my shape?
It helps you burn calories and tone your whole body (especially those tricky areas) as you're constantly moving your arms, legs, belly and bum!
What you're telling us about Zumba
'I do Zumba every week, at least during term time anyway, and I absolutely love it, it never fails to make me smile. The instructor has so much energy and passion for it that I just can't help feeling the same, although I'm absolutely shattered afterwards!' Jen Bolton
'Love it love it love it :)' Maggie Pattison
'I'm doing it every week now, I've enjoyed it everytime but at the same time it's killing me - fast and energetic! And I'm 52.' Mida Dixon
How can I do this at home?
Whether you've got 20 minutes to spare or a whole hour, you can work out to Zumba at home with the Zumba Fitness DVD Kit (£49.99, zumbafitness.co.uk). You get toning sticks and a guide to eating right with the pack, as well as six different DVDs. You can also work out to Zumba on a Nintendo Wii with the Zumba Fitness game (£22.47, Amazon) and exercise with the Zumba Fitness DVD box set (£13.40, Amazon). Read more about the Zumba Fitness DVD Kit