Since Jun 2012

Laura Wilson

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Frequently asked Questions and Answers

Have a read through the questions below, but if your query is not covered, please contact me via the contact page or call Laura on 07949153215.

What is Zumba®?
Zumba® is dance fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt your body, inspired by Latin music styles such as Salsa, Samba, Cha Cha, Merengue, Reggaeton, Cumbia and also International flavours such as Bhangra, Greek and Russian.  It's easier to follow than a dance class but more fun and varied than a regular aerobic class. It is a mixture of body sculpting movements with easy to follow dance steps. You can burn from 500 to 1000 calories per class!

What should I Wear?
Something comfortable and easy to move in - like you would wear to an aerobic class

What about Shoes?
Zumba® is a dynamic fitness class with lots of movement in all directions so you need a shoe with good support and a sole that will allow a pivot motion (ideally with a little circle under the ball of the foot!).
Aerobic shoes are ok, but running shoes are not ideal as they tend to be designed to propel you forward in a straight line rather than pivot and twist which you do more of in Zumba®.  Shoes designed for squash, tennis or badminton are great as they are designed to support the pivot on the ball of the foot.  Skate trainers, Dance and Jazz Sneakers with thick sole are suitable, although the lightweight Jazz shoes with thin sole may not offer enough support.

I'm Pregnant, can I do Zumba®?

Unfortunately due to the side to side nature of many of the movements in Zumba and the intensity of the workout in the abdominal area Zumba® is not recommended during pregnancy. You should not join a Zumba® class if you are already pregnant - contact me once you have seen your doctor 6 weeks after the birth and we can determine when would be appropriate to join the class based on how much exercise you were doing during pregnancy and other factors. 

However if you were a fan before you conceived, it’s likely you can continue Zumba when pregnant. This kind of workout can be high impact, but it also allows for adjustments to accommodate a growing belly and changing body. Here’s how to keep the party going while still keeping your niñito-to-be safe and sound.

Do check with your doctor first. For most mamas-to-be, exercise is healthy and beneficial, and doctors recommend continuing pre-pregnancy workout routines. But in some high-risk pregnancies, exercise is considered unsafe and your health-care provider will ask you to take it easy. Your Dr may recommend skipping the Zumba routines in pregnancy in favour of some low-key strolls instead.

Do check in with your Zumba instructor too. The Instructor should be able to show you modifications to your usual moves, especially those that involve a lot of bending and twisting; they’ll be hard to perform when your baby bump is in the way and your sense of balance is off-kilter.

Do drink plenty of water before, during, and after you exercise, and wear comfortable, breathable clothes. The music and moves in Zumba class might be sizzling, but overheating isn’t good for you or your baby during pregnancy.

Don’t dance so vigorously that you can’t sing along to the music. If you’re breathing so heavily in Zumba class that you can hardly harmonize or are unable to even chat with a classmate, you’re working too hard — and depriving the baby of oxygen. Slow down and reduce the intensity of those dance moves.

Do go low-impact, especially as your pregnancy progresses. Keeping one foot on the floor at all times (marching instead of jumping, stepping instead of leaping) is easier on your newly bulky body. Cutting back on arm movements will also help you keep your heart rate lower — and keep you from overexerting yourself.

Don’t forget that pregnancy affects your balance (that big belly again) and your joints (you can thank pregnancy hormones for relaxing your ligaments). So quick transitions, twists, and turns can be tricky. Take care with these types of moves and modify them if you need to.

Do check out Aqua Zumba, which gives you the high energy and fun of the classic dance workout in the zero-impact, refreshingly cool environment of the swimming pool.

Do know the warning signs of overexertion: uterine contractions, vaginal bleeding or fluid leakage, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, and pain or swelling in your calf muscles. If you experience any of these during a Zumba class or any other workout, stop exercising and call your health-care professional.

I'm not very fit, will I be able to do it?
YES. One of the great things about Zumba® is that you can have a mix of abilities and fitness in one class and everyone can get a good workout because you can work to your own level. 

I'm not very co-ordinated, will I be able to do it?
YES.  Your co-ordination will improve the more you attend, because Zumba® is a choreographed workout, each dance has steps that you will become familiar with so the more you come to classes the better you will know the routines.  I have seen so many who come along on their first week and find it quite tricky but after a few weeks of coming regularly to classes every one of them has improved.

I want to lose weight/ get fit - is Zumba any good for that?
ABSOLUTELY!  I am definitely an example of that, not only have lost weight since starting Zumba®, I have toned up and my fitness has improved so much. The key for myself and many others is that this doesn't feel like a workout, it's exercise in disguise and so much fun. 

What should I bring?
Definitely a drink - expect to get hot and sweaty, but in one of the most fun ways. A drink is important to replenish your fluid levels so that you can keep going throughout the class without getting dehydrated.  You might find it useful to bring a small towel or flannel because even if you don't usually get hot in a workout, Zumba® might just be the one that gets you HOT, HOT, HOT!

Is there an age limit?
Yes, Zumba® is not licensed as a class suitable for children as there is a Separate Zumba® class called   Zumba®Kids/Jnr which are aimed at 4-11 year olds.  All of my classes are open to 12 years and older.

I have an injury/medical condition, should I do Zumba®?
It depends, Zumba® can be intense, so if you think you have a medical condition which may be aggravated by that then please contact your doctor before starting.  As for injuries, if you are active in other ways and regularly exercise but have got a recent injury, then I would ask that you listen to your own body and rest it until you feel ready to exercise again.  Let me know when you come back to class so I can warn you if there are any steps which I think you should avoid or modify.  If you haven't been exercising for a long time and have an injury or medical condition I would suggest that you speak to your doctor before starting.