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By Michelle Lowenstein


Just keep moving

Over the past few weeks I've noticed a trend on Facebook. As people start to prepare for the beach in December, they seem to have an inexplicable need to share their gym experiences with the world.

In addition to boasting about how many reps they’ve managed, a few have posted pics of their injuries. Blistered hands seem to be the most popular affliction.

Many articles will wax lyrical about how wonderful you’ll feel when you start exercising. However, the idea of going to gym and coming home with hands that look like you’re a trainee gymnast doesn’t really appeal. Which is why I’ve decided to return to Zumba classes.

Zumba is a dance fitness craze that has become a worldwide obsession over the past few years.

The benefits of Zumba are basically the same as a good cardio workout. The high energy dance routines get your blood pumping and if you give it your all you should feel as though you’ve had a good workout.

Lots of people shy away from Zumba because they feel that they have two left feet. If you attend a class you’ll realise that you have nothing to worry about.

The idea is that you keep moving, so getting the routines right isn’t important.

When I attended my first class, I was pleased to see people of all shapes, ages and sizes warming up beforehand. Our super-fit

instructor explained that Zumba is all about having fun and encouraged us to whoop and clap whenever the urge overtook us – something she regularly did when she could see us all fading during the more energetic routines.

I had been told to bring a towel and water along – and I’m glad I did, because during the short breaks they were a blessing. Comfortable shoes like takkies are also a must as you’ll need to be able to move easily.

By the end of the class, we were all laughing and singing along breathlessly to the catchy songs while we tried to keep up. We were all left feeling exhausted, but with smiles on our faces. The next morning I woke up suitably stiff. This is a good way of testing if a particular exercise regime is working for you or if you need to up the pace.

Unlike my Facebook friends with their mangled hands, I experienced no injuries aside from a slightly bruised ego – having done Latin and Ballroom dancing for two years, I was disappointed by the strange creature I caught sight of in the mirror during the class that seemed to be having some kind of fit. Perhaps people with no dancing experience are actual-ly in the pound seats!

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