A-Z of exercise: Z is for Zumba

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WHAT IS IT?

With the amount of talk about it recently you’d be forgiven for thinking Zumba was a new way to work out. But it’s actually been around since the 1990s. Fitness trainer Beto Perez turned up to lead an aerobics class in his native Colombia but realised he’d forgotten his music. He grabbed tapes from his bag – a mix of Latin salsa and merengue – and improvised.

Classes involve dancing short and repetitive routines.

WHAT WILL IT DO FOR ME?

Well Zumba’s a good cardio workout but there’s an element of resistance training too. Dancing to the ever-changing rhythms will help tone and sculpt while burning fat.

WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS:

Maria Bentley, a trained Zumba instructor who runs classes in Portsmouth, says: ‘I really want people to go away with a sense of achievement and that’s why Zumba works. I encourage people of all shapes and sizes to move.’

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