Waleed Din, pro boxer and coach on the current series of Fighting Fit Dubai, breaks down the sport’s physical and mental benefits
Put aside any ego, gents, and take up the dance-based workout, which is great for cardio and coordination
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a man in a Zumba class. Most women have never or rarely seen men in a Zumba class. Why is that? And should men really consider Zumba or just drop the idea?
In my experience, men tend to prefer to work out alone, while women make up the majority of most cardio-based classes. But Zumba, for many reasons, seems especially unpopular with males. It has always seemed like something that is stereotypically frequented by women rather than men.
In general terms, I’ve found that men fall into two major categories: the competitive ones who like to engage in team sports, and the ones who train for aesthetics by lifting weights and pumping their muscles. Which means joining a Zumba class will not satisfy those from either category.
Now, what makes it even harder for men to join a Zumba class is (yes, you guessed it) their ego. Putting their egos aside and agreeing to doing something so unfamiliar to what they are used to without being judged or feeling self-conscious about themselves is a huge ask. Zumba simply takes them out of their element and puts them head on, face to face with their insecurities. And men really hate feeling insecure, especially in a room full of women. Plus, most men feel uncoordinated and awkward joining a Zumba class where they are expected to swiftly learn multiple intricate moves and apply them on the spot.
But what most men do not know is that Zumba is a dance fitness program that challenges leg-hand coordination, stability and mobility of the whole-body, while triggering the mind to memorise choreographies. It also helps in strengthening and stabilizing muscles and significantly improves flexibility. Regular fitness routines do not have the hip movement or curls of that of Zumba; many of them are not “flexible friendly”.
Zumba also helps with your coordination in other sports and activities. It involves a wide variety of specific movements geared towards helping you get in touch with your body and teaching you how to move in different ways.
Zumba is one of the most effective forms of cardio exercise – it makes you move almost every muscle in your body, helps in weight loss, and keeping the heart running and the metabolism high. It is a great and fun total-body workout where the movement is non-stop and there is no real rest. You can burn anywhere between 400 to 800 calories per hour depending on your metabolism and effort. Men who Zumba have a higher possibility of maintaining a healthier lifestyle than men who don’t.
Zumba can also help in getting rid of stress, raising endorphins levels and becoming a truly happy person.
The bottom line is if you're a man and wondering whether to go to a Zumba class or not – go! See it for yourself, let loose and just have some fun; no judgement. You will be the centre of attention, in a good way.
Take it from me, guys: women love men who Zumba.
The writer is a certified fitness instructor and a certified life and wellness coach
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