Why I Love Zumba (and Stick With It)

Get Moving with ZumbaI am not the kind of person who loves exercise of every kind. I’m not incredibly coordinated and I don’t play any sports at all. I spend pretty much all day every day working at a desk in my office. So getting in exercise is a challenge for me.

For years I tried all different kinds of workout videos and even the Wii Fit. I couldn’t really stick with anything. Then I discovered two things–training for half marathons and Zumba. The first is another whole post in itself! Today I want to talk specifically about what Zumba is and why I think I stick with it.

What is Zumba?

Zumba is an exercise class (either on DVD or in person) that combines Latin and HipHop. It’s mainly cardio but depending on the instructor you may get a little strength training as well. Workouts are usually around an hour long and can be done non-stop or with a short break between songs.

I’ve heard a lot of different estimates about how many calories you burn during Zumba. I think it really depends on how much you put into it. I’ve worn a heart rate/calorie monitor a number of times and usually end up somewhere between 800 and 1000 calories in a 60 minute class. But remember that can vary greatly depending on your size, exercise level, exertion rate, etc.

Why Is Zumba Addictive?

As a mom with a full-time job, it’s hard for me to fit in everything I want to do. Zumba combines a few different things for me—exercise, relaxation, and time with my friends. It’s the only hour of the day where I truly ignore everything else going on in my life and just let go. The music is fun and the endorphin release after a good workout can’t be beat. I favor the live classes over the DVDs because 1) the routines get changed up frequently, 2) I need an instructor watching me and pushing me, and 3) it’s just more fun with my friends around.

I’ve been going to class now for about 4 years. My instructor offers 3 classes a week, but I only attend 2 because I do my walking/running on the other days. But I am a stickler about those 2 days. Unless I am out of town or it is absolutely, completely unavoidable, I do not miss class. I’ve found that once you start to miss a few, it’s easy to slide into not going at all.

Find a Class Near You

If you happen to live near me (Fishers, Indiana), I invite you to come to the class that I go to (Nicole Kiehl). She’s TERRIFIC and keeps the class lively and fun. Chances are pretty good that you do not live anywhere me, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a class of your own that is also awesome. I find that a lot of the instructors tend to use the same music and many even share routines. You can visit the Zumba website and put in your zip code to find classes in your area.

Have you ever tried Zumba? What kind of exercise do you get that you love so much you never want to miss it?


  1. says

    Have you tried aqua zumba at all? I went to what was supposed to be aqua aerobics at my local 24 hr fitness a couple weeks ago and turns out that their instructor’s schedule had changed, so the Thursday night classes were being turned into aqua zumba. It was interesting… he says he’s trying to combine some traditional aqua aerobics stuff they gave him with the usual zumba. It’s interesting… sometimes it feels like a lot of what he’s asking us to do cannot be replicated under water due to the water resistance, but also I can just move in some similar way under water as best I can and not get called our on it either :)
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