Latest Workout Craze

Take some salsa music, a dance studio, and an instructor and you’ve got Zumba, a calorie burning cardio workout. Sharon Kline owns Advanced Fitness Plus in south Naperville where she teaches six Zumba classes a week.

“Zumba is something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Kline. “I got certified last June and it’s just adding an extra form of exercise here.”

After watching her class for a little bit, I decided to give it a try. I was intimidated at first, but by the end I was getting the hang of it. I could see why Kline says the workout is becoming the number one form of exercise in the U.S.

Zumba was created in the 1990s after aerobics instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez forgot his music. He grabbed his own, created an impromptu workout, and Zumba was born. Those who do it say it’s just fun.

“It’s just not a lot of thinking, it’s just going out there, having a lot of fun, having a lot of movement,” says Kline. “You burn tons of calories. You’re constantly sweating in the class and everyone’s always smiling and having a good time. It actually puts you in a really, really good mood.”

“The cardio, actual moving nonstop, I really feel like you have a good workout when you’re done,” says Lori Miller, a Zumba participant.

Miller said she’d never do Zumba until Kline convinced her to give it a shot. Now she loves it.

“I was very intimidated by it,” says Miller. “I realized I needed something else to really kick my workout and give me more cardio. That’s why I do it. She’s a phenomenal instructor. We just have a blast.”

After an hour-long class, the ladies have burned off hundreds of calories.

Advanced Fitness Plus will host a Zumbathon on March 3, 2012, to raise money for ALS, a disease of the nerve cells. For more information, call the studio at 630-202-0583.

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