Trying a new exercise can be a scary experience, especially if you don’t have any clue about it. For Arina, her first taste of Zumba was addictive! Once you’ve taken the first steps though, you’ll find that it’s not as difficult as you thought it would be. Just ask Arina Syazwani, who tried out Zumba for the first time in college, and now enjoys dancing for fitness is a self-professed Zumba enthusiast!
This is me
Arina is 28 and works in a social media agency in Kuala Lumpur. When asked about her general fitness level, she says: “I am honestly very inconsistent with my fitness, even up to today. I spend most of my time traveling to work and it can get very tiring to make working out a regular habit. I do have irregular bursts of motivation though – one week I will be jogging and dancing every day, and the next week I’ll be doing nothing but eating and sleeping!”
Catching the Zumba bug
"My dance fitness journey started with Zumba, way back in 2012. This was when it was relatively new in Malaysia. It was all the rage – all of my friends were going for it! So I did a bit of research and found out that you can easily lose weight with Zumba. That got me hooked, and I looked up for videos online so I could try at home.”
Boring alone, better together
Although it was fun to follow the videos at home, it was getting boring doing it alone. Arina then thought of trying Zumba at a fitness centre, and went with some of her friends. It turned out to be more fun than she expected! “It was so enjoyable! The music was loud, I got to mingle with people who have the same interest in Zumba.”
Taking the first step
If you’re trying Zumba or a dance exercise for the first time, Arina has this to share with you: “There’s really nothing to be intimidated by if you’re trying Zumba out for the first time. The steps are easy to follow, like an aerobics set, once you get a hang of it. Even if you’re late for 10 minutes, it’s still possible for you to join in and follow the class!”
It’s normal to feel tired after a workout – Arina can attest to that. “After a workout, it’s natural to feel a little bit tired. It’s a good kind of tired though, because you know you moved your body to exercise! You will also experience feeling different – I myself felt lighter, more efficient at work and the adrenaline kept me wanting to work out the next day!”
The story of Zumba
Zumba began in Colombia in the 1990s and was the result of an unexpected event. Back then, popular celebrity fitness trainer Alberto Perez was conducting aerobic classes at a fitness center. He forgot to bring his usual aerobics music along to a class one day. Not wanting to call it off, he improvised by conducting it with the only music he had on hand – Latin music – and conducted the very first Zumba class!
A typical Zumba routine may include choreography or moves from hip-hop, samba, salsa with exercise routines like squats or lunges, and is almost always accompanied by upbeat Latin-inspired songs.
It’s a fairly moderate exercise that helps to get your body moving, in a fun and relaxed environment. Perhaps celebrity Zumba instructor Kass Martin puts it best: “It’s not a competitive program. It’s not about how you look or how you move, it’s about getting active and having fun,”
Today, you’ll find Zumba classes in many gyms, fitness centers and even dance studios. There may even be Zumba classes specially designed for kids or senior citizens.
The above articles are intended for informational purposes only. AIA accepts no responsibility for loss, which may arise from reliance on information contained in the articles.