Showing posts with label physical fitness in retirement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label physical fitness in retirement. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Arctic Zumba activity

I have neglected blogging because of lack of time which is consumed by other competing activities, a significant one of which is  my physical activities at the Y across the river in La Crosse.  For several years here I considered joining the Y but thought I might not be inspired to drive there; I was wrong. Ever since mid September last fall when I gained Y membership with my enrollment in the  Diabetes Prevention Program, I have a new outlet.  Just about every day, 5 days a week, sometimes 6 I drive to the Y for physical activity, elliptical machine, body toning, swimming, yoga or my very favorite the Zumba classes. A part of my fitness program was to ensure 30 minutes dedicated physical activity per day, easy enough for me because my walks outside and around town  in the good weather were always an hour, sometimes longer, in retirement  I am blessed to have the time to spend as I wish. And well, you know me if a little is good, more is better. 


But now most mornings are consumed  with me across the river at the Y which takes up the full morning from 9:30 when I leave till about 11:30 or noon when I return home to clean up for the day.   Often I'm in Zumba which lasts for 50 minutes in the  fitness studio.  Zumba is an aerobic cardio dance exercise with a Latin twist, although our classes feature a variety of music most of it is Latin style or depending on the instructor hip hop.  Me at 69 hip hopping, oh yeah. Who'd have imagined? I have long been a fan of aerobic dance, starting long ago in CA with that old Jazzercise which we did way back then (70's) in bare feet.  I remember when we began to wear shoes and all thought it would never work.  Today I cannot imagine the bare feet and absolutely prefer shoes for support.  

My affinity for dance as exercise had me completing a certification and instructing aerobic dance for fitness  for a short time in CA until I began to drive myself crazy with my obsession to constantly change the routines and music.  Did I mention I can get bored with rote  routine?  I had a full time professional career at the same time so 24 hour days did not offer enough time for my continuous choreography.    I love most any dance so I thought any exercise centered on this would be great for me.  

Zumba is a highly aerobic dance fitness program done correctly but similar to most activities can be adjusted to one's abilities. It uses squats, lunges in the routines and even some martial arts moves.   It is credited originally to Alberto Perez, a Columbian dancer and choreographer in the 1990's who one day forgot his "tape" of aerobic music for a class he was teaching.  He improvised  with Latin music, salsa and merengue and after astonishing success in 2001 he moved to the US  where he  teamed with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion to produce a demo "reel."  (Note how far we have come from tapes and reels, just had to say.)  The dance was licensed by Fitness Quest in a direct marketing campaign and home videos.  Gee they could have been Los Tres Albertos.  My research shows that over 14 million people in over 150 countries take weekly Zumba classes.   I take a Zumba class about 3 or 4  times a week. 

It has been a fantastic way for me to stay fit.  Besides physical fitness it is great for the mind to learn the new routines; our Y instructors offer a variety but most sessions find me with Wanda who mixes it up and adds new routines all he time.  While my favorites are the dances to the 50's and 60's songs, I have acquired some new hip hop favorites.  Like this one to Love Me Right by the Swag Geeks and Brook Penning 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcpekRRDs_c

Here is the routine we do choreographed by Lauren Fitz, by the way no one in our class wears a hat.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWfQU-9atYs

How would I ever have heard of them or this music if I'd not been in Zumba at the Y.  I have written before, constant learning, it's the only way to be.

I works up a healthy sweat.  All ages participate although there are many of us retirees in Wanda's classes which are less impact than others, but not for those who cannot move.  It's a very welcome wintertime activity for me and energizes while building my core muscular fitness and aerobic capacity.  The Zumba toning class once a week is another stretch always  leaving my arms and shoulders exhausted from the mere 3 pound weights we use for 30 minutes.  I have made progress  because the first class in toning I could not use the 1 pound weights for the entire time, now 3 are my comfort zone.  Wonder if I will get to five with Zumba toning?