Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why wait?

Why wait for the New Year to start an exercise program?  Get with it now, and jump start your way to a healthy life.  The exercise may last 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour, but at least it is something.  This is the perfect time to start coming to  Zumba classes.  The benefits of stress relief alone are reward enough, and your body will start to feel so much better!

Start your New Year off on the right foot, and stick with it.  A comfortable shoe can make a world of difference when it comes to how your body will feel throughout the week.  Research online or go to a professional to get fitted for the type of exercise you are doing.

2011 is a clean slate.  What will you fill it up with?  Choose a positive attitude, and outlook for the future. Then follow through with the things that will make you, and those around you, happy!

Here's to 2011 and beyond!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I have heard it said that if you want to be rich then do what rich people do.  Another saying is that if you want to be thin do what thin people do.  Well, a few years ago I put that thinking into practice.  My Aunt lost weight by going to Weight Watchers, and kept it off.  I finally decided after many years of yoyo diets, and trying to get things done myself that I would give Weight Watchers a try.  The only way I could get started was to tell myself that I would try it for 4 weeks, and if I didn't see results, then I would be done.  I just wanted to see what if felt like to be smaller.  I got my head wrapped around the fact that it was only 4 weeks out of my life...just see what happens.  Well, after those 4 weeks had gone by I was feeling so good that I wanted to keep going, and I found out that life only got better.  I didn't feel deprived at all!!

A few years later I found Zumba.  I was keeping weight off, but not as toned as I wanted to be.  I also didn't particularly like running or weight lifting.  Zumba was exciting for me, and something that didn't feel like exercise.  All of the benefits rolled into one class!!

Since I started instructing Zumba, I see myself in a lot of the participants in my classes.  So many people benefit from the class, yet the biggest improvements are those who stay with it on a consistent bases.  I think sometimes in this world of instant gratification that we tend to expect results within a week.  Granted, you can feel better in a week, but the real results come with time.

Set small goals with weight loss, and exercise.  Let it snowball to the results you want.  It will happen!  Give yourself the time it needs to work.  Take a few weeks out of your life, and try it.  The result will be that you will eventually stick with it because it feels so good when you get there.  What have you got to lose?  Also, don't let others that don't want to put the time and effort into keeping their body healthy keep you down. (That's probably a whole new subject).

Take care of your body, and it will take care of you!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

How do you talk to yourself?

One day last week just wasn't going the way I had planned, and at every turn I managed to make it worse.  I couldn't quite seem to get things back on track.  One thing that didn't help was how hard I was on myself!  The words spinning in my head were not nice, and I just kept berating all of the things I was trying so hard to turn in a positive direction.  I believe that this was one of the reasons the day kept going south.

Negative thinking and negative talk can only lead to one thing...negative results!!  Telling yourself that you can't do something or try something new or lose weight or eat healthy or calling yourself names (idiot, fool) ect...  Tell yourself this enough, and it will come true.  Living by the words that you speak in your head can make or break you.  I know that when I think positive, and put positive words in my head (good job, you can do it) things in my life go a lot better and smoother.

I like to use positive visualization as well.  See yourself doing a task in the positive way that you want that task to go.  When I used to play basketball before games I would mentally see myself making the shots that I take, especially free throws.  I watched myself steel the ball from the defense, saw myself making good passes to team mates, and dribbling around opponents to make a lay up.  You know what?  It worked!  My games were always better when I did this. 

Apply this to everyday life.  See yourself as you want to look and feel.  See great things happening for you in your job.  See the way you want your family to be.  See everything!   Visualize how you will get there, and think of how good it will feel, taste, smell, look...What do you have to lose?  What's the worst thing that can happen?  You could end up very happy and healthy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Zumba High

This last couple of weeks have been long and tough! Every time I think I’m going to write on my blog something else pops up or throws me a curve ball. Just a quick re-cap of events from the past few weeks. My husband went to the emergency room, and was in the hospital for a couple of days with what turned out to be a kidney stone. Our computer crashed, and we are still awaiting the new one. My daughter turned 18, and we had many celebrations, and a college campus visit. My father is still in the hospital with a foot infection, and as of this posting it has been 9 days. We’re hoping he can come home on day 10.

So, with that being said there have been many positive things going on besides the 18th Birthday celebrations. Zumbatomic for children ages 7-12 years old started, and I’m loving it. The kids are doing a great job, and we’re having so much fun! Our regular Zumba classes are going strong, and have kept me focused and sane.

During one of my Zumba classes this past week, it hit me why I love Zumba so much. Although there were a lot of stressful things happening, the one hour of Zumba each class helped me escape to that “high” you get when you are working out. Just like the runner’s high, Zumba can take you to the same place. It’s just a great, feel good moment when euphoria hits and you feel happy. This relaxes your body, and I’m sure that it helps the blood pressure level.

Since I used to run I can say there were many times that I hit that runner’s high, but I think that Zumba keeps me there a lot longer than when I was running. The music, the moves, the people all contribute to the long high. My mind is not anywhere else except in that moment, with my Zumba family and just being in the moment.

The next time that you feel like you just can’t get out to get to class, and want to curl up and forget the world. Just try to remember how you feel when you’re at class, and how you will feel when you’re done.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Pound is a Pound

Last Friday night I was driving home from work around 11:30pm after a very long day at the skating rink, and I turned onto our street to a sea of white flowing strands of toilet paper strewn about our yard and trees.  My husband was already starting the clean up process, and we recruited the one daughter that was home to help.  With two teenagers in the house it was bound to happen sometime.

We grabbed trash bags, and pulled the toilet paper off of trees, picked it up off of the ground and unwound it from the swing set.  It took up some time, but we got it done.  When we were finished, I looked at the trash bags with all of the toilet paper wadded up, and stuffed into them.  The toilet paper that had once looked like so much, and took up so much space in our yard now looked very small and compact!   It was the same amount of paper, however, it didn't take up as much space.

I used to think (as many people do) that muscle weighed more than fat.  It's always a nice excuse when you see the scale number go up.  However, one day at my WW meeting I found out that this is a myth. A pound of fat weighs just as much as a pound of muscle.  A pound is a pound.  The difference is how the pound of fat looks compared to the pound of muscle.  Just like the toilet paper that was spread out around the yard looked different than it did in the trash bags.  It was still the same amount of paper.  One more analogy please.  A pound of feathers weighs the same as a one pound brick.  Thanks.

There was a period of time, while I was losing weight, that the scale stalled out.  My clothes felt and fit better.  People were telling me I looked like I was losing weight, but the scale told me they were wrong.  I think it was a time where a lot of toning and shifting were going on in my body.  Zumba is great because it gives you both cardio and toning exercise.  You can lose weight and tone at the same time!

So don't be discouraged when the scale stalls.  Take measurements, and gauge how you feel in your clothes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Heart

 Before I begin, someone told me at class the other day that she thinks she is shaped like a fire hydrant.  She just cracks me up.  By the way, I don't see it.  Hmmm,  wonder what I'm shaped like?

Anyway, onto the heart...

Here is a fact that many people do not know...Heart disease is the number-one killer of American women.  The first time that I heard this I was surprised.  I thought that maybe breast cancer or uterine cancer (both horrible) would be the leading cause of death.  Women tend to brush off the warning signs as stress, flu, fatigue, common headache, etc.  This includes women in their 20's, 30's and up.  Why am I talking about something so depressing??  Here comes the good part.  You can take care of yourself!!

I started my Zumba classes the first week of January 2010.  I constantly get stories from students about how their cholesterol and blood pressure have gone down.  I'm going to tell about a few of the stories I have heard recently.  I get similar stories all of the time, just the names and faces change.

Mona (that's her real name, she said that I could use it) walked into class a few weeks ago, and came over to talk to me before we started.  Mona told me that the only thing she has done differently in the last several months is Zumba.  She said that as she was going to see her doctor, she had decided that if her cholesterol was not down that she was done.  She had already tried everything else, and was working so hard that a negative result would cause her to just stop doing Zumba.  When the doctor walked into the room, he looked pleased and asked Mona what she had been doing.  She replied that the only thing she was doing different than what she did in the past was Zumba.  OK...are you ready?  Her cholesterol went down 37 points!!  She looked at me, and said, "I just bought another punch card."

While talking to Mona the other day, Bea told me that her cholesterol was down as well.  I get one story after another like this.

A woman who has been taking my classes for about two months came rushing over to talk to me. She said that her doctor told her she had to do exercise at least three times a week.  She picked a stationary bike at home, and my Zumba class.  Well, you guessed it, she went to the doctor, and her blood pressure and cholesterol were both down as well as her weight!  She just looks wonderful, and feels fantastic.  The doctor asked her what she was doing, and she said Zumba.  The doctor said that she had another patient that does Zumba, and had lost 70 pounds.  Guess it works.

When you take care of yourself it makes it easier to care for others.  Your thoughts become clearer, your breathing is easier, your energy is higher and your heart is happier.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Miracle Walking

Ok, first of all let me just say that I thought the Emmys were really good last night.  I like Jimmy Fallon and Modern Family.  Now with that out of the way, please read this amazing story.

Last week I had a woman that came to me, who had been attending my Zumba classes 2-3 times a week for over a month, and ask if she could share something with me.  This particular person I say hi to when she comes in, and if I see her leaving we exchange good-byes.  She was always a bit quiet and shy.

This woman whom I will call "Shea" from here on out (not her real name) told me that she had always worn a certain sized shirt  for the last 27 years.  The size had not ever changed in all of that time. Shea wanted me to know that this week she put on the next size down for the first time in 27 years!!  I was so happy to hear this, and was so proud of her accomplishment.  This news was enough to give me goose bumps, as do all of the wonderful stories that I have been hearing about since January.

Wait!  That's not the end...

Shea then told me that she was in a bad car accident 27 years ago, and her right foot was cut off!  A doctor re-attached it, and she couldn't walk for three months.  I told her I couldn't believe she was walking now!  I had goose bumps on my goose bumps!!

Shea told me that Zumba was the only exercise that has helped her bring that size down.  I could have cried because I know that Zumba can do this for people.  I can't wait to see how she progresses.  I can already see her coming out of her shell.  How wonderful to be able to feel that!

I think the moral of this story is that no matter how bad you think you might have it or what struggles you face in life there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.  How badly do you want to reach that light, and what sacrifices are you willing to make?  Personally, I think Zumba is the best exercise you can get that will work your mind, body and soul.  You can take care of all three in a one hour class.  How cool is that?!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Welcome to my Zumba blog

Those who know me know that I have a passion for Zumba. How did this come about? Let me share my story with you.

I was very active and very involved in many things in High School; choir, Theatre, Basketball, Tennis and various other things in between. The High School years were awesome. When I went to college I began a slippery slope of keeping up with my eating, and forgetting about the exercise that I took for granted in my formative years. Thus, you guessed it; the weight came on and on and on. I just couldn’t believe I was having trouble fitting into my clothes!

Throughout the years after college my weight would flex up and down, and of course, after babies it was even harder. I managed to walk, and then run and even workout to videos with weights to try to keep it off. Most of the time, I did the workout just to work off the weight and not because I liked the workout itself. The running was really taking its toll, but it was the only way to keep the heart rate high enough to burn the fat.

I joined Weight Watchers. Not once, but twice. I am a Life Member now. One day at a meeting there was talk of Zumba. A Latin Dance based fitness. Hmmm, I thought, probably just another aerobics type class. Oh well, my Aunt really likes it so I’ll give it a try. Why not? If I didn’t like it I didn’t have to go back. You may be able to guess what happened, but I’ll explain anyway. HOOKED!!! The first song to the last was a blast, and I was sweating like nobody’s business. How can this be? Running never made me sweat this much. Can something I like so much, be such a great workout? I don’t have to run anymore, or make myself get up at the crack of dawn to do video/weight workouts? I can burn calories, and get toned with something that I love to do???

I went back again and again, and was always disappointed when it was over so fast. I wanted more! Wait a minute. I work at a skating rink that my parents own. Hey mom! Come check out Zumba with me. She did, and loved it as much as I did. Hmmm, We have times at the rink that we don’t skate. I wanted more and more Zumba…could I get licensed and teach? How many people could benefit from this the way we were benefiting? This was life-changing. Skating is a great heart-healthy exercise, and Zumba would fit right in at the rink.

Thus, my Mother and I became licensed Zumba instructors and in January 2010 started Zumba classes at B&J Skate Center. I now have 6 classes per week, and Zumbatomic for kids coming up September 10th!

So this is the start of my blog. The most interesting thing is not about how I started Zumba, it is the impact that Zumba has made on the lives of people who come to my classes. I want to share some of those stories here. Changing people’s lives for the better (and healthier) is really what it’s all about.