Zumba: Add Some Spice to Your Fitness with a New Workout Craze

Exercise should be fun. There’s no reason to dread something that’s so important for your health. You can go do your treadmill exercise tonight, or you can try to shake it up a little.

One of the hottest trends in aerobics these days is a hot little South American-influenced workout called Zumba.

zumbaZumba’s founder, Alberto Perez, considers himself the Forrest Gump of dance. It’s a nice bit of humility, but he must be doing something right. Nearly four million copies of Zumba workout DVDs have been sold, and about 20,000 instructors in 40 countries now teach Zumba, 15,000 of which are in the U.S.

But in a Gump sort of way, the 37-year-old kind of stumbled upon the sensation he created.

In the mid-’90s, as he hurried to an aerobics class he was teaching, he realized he forgot his workout music. So he grabbed whatever he had in his car… which just happened to be the salsa and merengue music that became the inspiration for Zumba.

Actually, Zumba is more of a “gumbo” stew of music, all stirred together for a vigorous hour of fitness: mambo, cha-cha, cumbia, and merengue. Even hip-hop, or belly dancing can be a part of the Zumba experience.

Some industry people attribute Zumba’s popularity to recent reality show hits like Dancing With The Stars. Here’s a video that gives you a good idea of how much fun it could be:

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