Doing the Zumba

ZumbaWinter gives me too many excuses to skip a workout. It's snowing. It's raining. It's too dark outside. I ate too much (guilty as charged). Not long ago, I was watching the local news and caught a feature on some new exercise called Zumba. The camera panned across a gym full of laughing women dancing to a catchy beat. What's this? People having fun while exercising? I wanted in on that action. A quick search on the Internet found several local community centers offering Zumba, an aerobic/dance workout set to a Latin-American musical beat. My friend Anne and I signed up for a series of classes, thinking if we applied the Buddy System, we'd feel less goofy bumbling through a dance routine. As it turns out, most of the women in our class are newbies of all ages and shapes, laughing and moving body parts that hadn't been wiggled in years. Our instructor Kate shouts encouragement as we try to keep up with her footwork and the spicy, saucy Latin music makes us forget everything else. We samba; we do this funny old Paula Abdul run; we do "Thriller." Although we have fun, Zumba can burn some serious calories, depending on your intensity level. I leave Zumba class in a sweat, but feeling like I just attended a fun little party. And I can't wait until the next class (this doesn't usually happen when I exercise). Go to and click on "Find a Class." It's a great way to meet new people and escape the winter blahs while you're getting in shape.