Posts Tagged ‘Zumba’

Exercise and Fitness Articles

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012


These exercise and fitness articles reflect personal struggles and ways I have overcome different areas of exercise and fitness as a wife and mother.

General Exercise: These articles will inspire you to get fit and find an exercise that you love. They will also show you how to fit exercise into your day and how to maintain your current fitness level.

Zumba: These articles will give you an overview of Zumba, why it’s so fun, and the benefits of dancing to get fit.

Running: Running was something I tried briefly and decided wasn’t for me. Some people love the adrenaline of running and like it better than any other exercise. If you try it, make sure you have the proper shoes, because I ended up with blisters for being a cheapskate with my running shoes.

Weight Loss: Sadly, losing weight requires some form of sacrifice. I realized that reducing calories makes a bigger difference in weight loss than exercising does. Sometimes you gain weight when you exercise because muscles weigh more than fat. The only way to get rid of fat is to eat less. To not make your suffering go to waste, you might try fasting and prayer as an alternative to reducing calories. At least you’re accomplishing something spiritual by drawing closer to God at the same time!

Sleep and Rest: Make sure you get 8 hours of sleep a night if you want to live a healthy life where you feel fully awake. You also need to build margin into your schedule: time to rest and have fun.

How Exercise and Fitness Affect Marriage: Taking care of your body is the same as taking care of your husband. How you feel physically affects your marriage.

Exercise with Children: How to exercise when you have kids with you all day.

Hidden Benefits of Zumba

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

  1. benefits-of-zumbaNo Resentment – Zumba is an aerobic exercise that tones the whole body. The hour goes by fast. It’s the only exercise that I look forward to. There is no dreaded workout, no watching the clock because I wish it was over, and no resentment that I have to exercise to keep my body in shape for my husband. None of that. I do Zumba for me, and it benefits my body, my health, and my husband with no down side.
  2. Increased Energy Level – Exercise increases endorphins which cause me to feel more clear-headed and improves my mood. I sleep better. I have more energy for my husband and my children. Often when I come home from Zumba, I’m a better companion for my husband because I don’t feel foggy.
  3. Body Acceptance and Awareness – I used to be a total klutz. I didn’t really know where the end of my body was until I started doing Zumba. And I love my body now more than I ever have, not because it’s better than when I was in my 20’s, because it’s not. But I’m more confident now, as far as moving my body. That confidence is highly appealing to my husband.
  4. Long-term sustainability – Every other time I’ve done exercise, it’s fallen by the wayside as soon as I’ve reached my goal. Zumba is one of those things that I don’t mind doing for the rest of my life.
  5. Delight your husband – Besides the increased confidence in your body, the fact that you are more toned speaks volumes to your husband, and he notices. Many Zumba classes are held at churches, and my own Zumba instructor is a married Christian woman with two small children. She moves her body in a sensual way that would be highly appealing to her husband, and I want to learn exactly how she does that. Especially for godly women who keep themselves away from smut, this is a safe way to learn how to delight your husband with your movements. God is pleased when you delight your husband, so it’s godly to learn how to be sensual. No matter what shape you’re in, no matter what a klutz you are, you can learn how to surprise and delight your husband and make him happy. Intimacy is clean and pure, and God is the one who invented it. Even if your relationship with your husband is already good, Zumba can make it even better by teaching you how to move in an appealing way. For this reason I strongly endorse Zumba for Christian married women.

Staying Physically Fit

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

staying-physically-fitIn less than a week I’m going on my first ever 12K run. It’s called Bloomsday, and tens of thousands of people run it every year here in Spokane. I told my husband back in January that I was going to lose 17 pounds this year (that I accidentally gained last year just for turning 40; thank you very much). To keep myself accountable, I signed up for this race. You see, if you sign up for ridiculous things like this, you can’t stray too far from your goals for staying physically fit.

So in January I started doing exercise videos. I threw them all in the trash except for the Jillian Michaels one, the one that says “Eliminate Love Handles, Muffin Tops, and Wobbly Arms for Good!” Sure enough, after doing her absolutely impossible workout two or three times a week, I was actually gaining some nice definition in my stomach. I saw muscles I never had before, not even when I was skinny as a rail before I had kids.

By the end of January, I had discovered Zumba. Oh, Zumba was so much fun that I actually looked forward to Wednesdays as my favorite day of the week. We met at a church, 150 women of all shapes and sizes. Even though I’m a total klutz and I fumbled around like an idiot, I eventually learned the moves. Meanwhile my fumbling around caused other women to feel good about themselves, since they weren’t as stupid as the red-headed person who kept twirling the wrong way. A man from the church with a big movie camera wanted to record us doing Zumba to advertise to the church women to come join us. As much as I love being on camera, I did NOT want to do Zumba in front of a camera. Since the camera man was right in the middle of the gym (with two groups of women facing each other), I purposely stood to the side of the camera so that there was no way I would be in it. Whenever we moved our arms around, I pretended to hit the camera man with my fist, much to the delight of the women facing me, who burst out laughing on camera. (He never knew I did this; bless his soul…)

Since the winter was so long, I got sick three times with a cold or flu. My flu even included a fever. I totally ditched my Jillian exercises because it was just too darned hard after all. But I never missed Zumba, even when I was sick. Much to my amazement by the end of February, I asked my husband if the scale was broken, because I had already lost 12 pounds. (If you read my blog article about losing 10 pounds, you know why I thought the scale was broken.) You see, I hadn’t exercised but once a week. All I did was, I ate less. And I drank more water. That’s all. So losing weight has almost nothing to do with exercise. And yet there is something about exercise that helps you to think more clearly, have more energy, and be more toned for your husband. So those things matter. Supposedly you sleep better, too, but sleep has more to do with not having a million things on your mind, like what to say to church people when you see them.

A couple of weeks ago my husband popped down a big bag of Cheetos in front of me. I said, “Honey, I’m trying to lose weight.” I’m not sure what his goal was, but he scored big points with me. After eating a moderate amount of Cheetos, I made the sudden decision to do the Jillian Michaels video again…

Zumba: Dance Your Way to Fitness

Thursday, February 24th, 2011


I was interested in Zumba when I first heard about it: a cardio-fitness workout with a Latin twist that was more like dancing than exercising. Someone showed me a YouTube video of it, and it looked totally fun. The problem was, I didn’t have a gym membership. Then someone gave me a website where you can look up the Zumba classes near you. You just type in your zip code, and lots of classes come up that are right near your house. Some might even be free, put on by a local church. So for all you homeschool moms out there who are having trouble losing weight and want to try something fun, this is it.

After coming home from my first Zumba class, I said to my husband, “I’ve found my sport. I think I’ll Zumba to my grave!” My husband laughed. I’m hooked.

I have to say that I felt lost that first time. There were 100 women in that local church gym. (It seems to me that church women are fatter than average. This is an upsetting observation to me, since we have the best men in the world, men who love God. Why should they be punished because they’re faithful and true? And as another aside, if we put homeschooling above taking care of our physical bodies, then we love our children more than our husbands. That’s the truth. Our bodies belong to our husbands, so taking care of our bodies is identical to taking care of our husbands.)

So there I was, my first time, messing up my footwork. I didn’t care. There were old grannies in there. About half the people stumbled around, but all of us were laughing and whooping. About half of the music was Latin music, which I’ve always loved, having grown up in a Latin country. But the other half was whatever the instructor liked. One song had the words “I like them chunky,” and we did squats so many times to the beat of the music that my legs burned. I laughed so much at that song, but really, we were doing resistance training. There’s another song that sounds like India. We hop with one foot up and down, and my leg burns so bad, but everyone else is doing it, so I don’t give up.

Last week I went to Zumba two days in a row, and when I did that India song that second day, my legs turned to jelly and I almost fell. Just modify the moves if you can’t do them. Have fun, and sort of move like everybody else is moving.

Here are my tips for starting Zumba:

  1. Find a woman who is wearing Zumba pants. Those are the die-hard fans, and they know what they’re doing. Stand directly behind one of them. This way you have someone to follow that is directly in front of you so you don’t get dizzy. My first time, I looked sideways, and I was dizzy the majority of the time.
  2. Focus only on the footwork. Forget your arms until later, after you’ve got your footwork down.
  3. Do not wear a sweatshirt. It is waaaaay too hot. A t-shirt or tank top is better.
  4. Bring water. I forgot to bring water the first time, and I was so thirsty.
  5. Have fun. Don’t memorize everything if you’re tired. Just go with the flow. By your third or fourth time, it gets way easier, and you can start adding attitude!

After the Zumba class last week, I ordered myself a Zumba skirt. It’s like a scarf with jingles that goes on top of your sweatpants. Someone let me borrow their extra skirt last time, and it was even more fun to feel the jingles swooshing. It reminded me of when I was a little girl, twirling a pleated skirt.

A week ago I went to a funeral and I had no oomph in me to do a fitness video. Let me tell you, Zumba cheered me up. I actually felt better. And last night when I got home from Zumba, my husband asked me, “Did it exceed your wildest dreams?”

“Yes, actually,” I said, “because I finally know most of the steps, so it was just pure fun!”

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