If you haven’t tried this workout yet, what are you waiting for?

Let’s face it, the gym can be an intimidating place particularly if you are a newbie. Anytime we are trying out something new it can be uncomfortable. That’s exactly how I felt when I tried out my first Zumba® class 2 months ago. I was nervous, as I am probably one of the world’s worst dancers. What motivated me to try it was I was starting to get bored of my treadmill, stair master, and elliptical cardio sessions. Zumba® classes are so packed I figured I would give it a go. I am so glad I did and If you have not experienced Zumba® before I hope after reading you will be inspired to try!

My Experience

All Zumba® instructors have different styles and music, but the one consistent thing  (as I tried several) is at the beginning of every class each instructor said the same thing, “No Judging in Zumba®, Just Have Fun and Keep Moving.” I have taken a variety of group fitness classes and this is the first I found to be so welcoming not only by instructors but the people attending the class. It truly feels like a community. Many classes that I’ve taken have their cliques of friends who congregate together and save spots next to each other, and some people with ego but not Zumba®. Even at the biggest of gyms, from the moment I walked into the class it delivered the feel and comfort of what you would receive if you were working out at a boutique studio.

The Workout

The instructor will have choreographed dances to a series of songs that will also incorporate traditional fitness moves. The class is structured similarly to interval training in that one song and dance is high intensity then the next song will allow for active recovery. Anyone of any age or fitness level can participate and it is so much fun you don’t even feel like its a workout. The average person in a Zumba® class can burn up to 500 calories or more depending on the intensity of the class.

As a beginner the hardest part for me is coordinating the hip and arm movements together. After a few classes I have developed more coordination—although I still wouldn’t want to see a video of myself dancing! If you have any doubt on whether this is an effective workout, trust me you are engaging so many muscles in your body some you might not have engaged in awhile. Zumba® is also great for building core strength and increasing flexibility.  As someone who did quite a bit of lifting heavy weight, I was surprised at how sore I was the next day after taking a class—it felt like the day after “leg day” and my hips and core were equally sore. At the end of each class I am dripping in sweat and it leaves me feeling uplifted and energized for the rest of the day.

11116827_600076946794679_1555693851_aIf you live in New Jersey and are looking for a class, check out Mary Massey she is a Zumba instructor at Lifetime Fitness and also offers drop in Zumba classes at multiple locations in NJ. For a list of  her class schedule and other training services you can visit her website www.marymassey.com

Whether you’re a beginner or an athlete working out, even the fittest of gym junkies can find themselves in a workout rut from time to time. It is important to always keep your body and mind stimulated and mixing up your workouts. It’s a new year and so many individuals set the resolution to lose weight but often can’t make it stick. The best way to assure that one stays motivated is by finding activities that they enjoy. Zumba could be the thing for you.

Questions? Comments?








Author: Christina Lasky

Christina is a certified personal trainer with International Sports Science Association (ISSA). Prior to that she was a Retail Professional, with a Bachelor’s degree in Retail Business Management and an Associates degree in Fashion Merchandising from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. She worked for several years in wholesale before transitioning to the Human Resources side of the business. When her son was born she decided to put her career on hold and fully commit her time to caring for her family. As any parent knows kids can keep you very busy leaving little free time for anything else. Once her 2nd child turned 2 she really struggled with trying to achieve balance in her life. She felt overwhelmed and stressed, her energy level plummeted. She started to gain some weight and not feel herself. It was at this time she decided something needed to change. She decided to join a summer boot camp in her neighborhood to be more active and immediately fell in love with working out and how it made her feel. As a child growing up she never played sports and she struggled with body image issues. Incorporating fitness into her life and making special dietary changes to her diet after being diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2010 has improved her body, mind and her confidence level. Motivated to get certified as a hobby to educate herself she is now excited to start a second career and is committed to helping others to live a healthier and happy life. Specializing in beginner to intermediate strength training and conditioning she has attended numerous Personal Training workshops in Personal Training National Academy of Sports & Medicine (NASM), Functional Training and Corrective Exercise, Group Strength, and Myofascial Release. Other interests Zumba, Mat Pilates and Bodybuilding. In an industry where there are so many mixed messages in the news and on social media, she strives to promote a positive self image for girls and woman through fitness and nutrition. “I am not in the business of changing bodies I am in the business of changing lives”. Christina offers one on one personal training and small group training in NJ.

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