Living in a city such as Faisalabad my options for a fitness studio were limited and finding my motivation to exercise was also a quest, however, scrolling through Facebook I came across a Zumba class happening in town and I was immediately intrigued to find out more.
I dialed the number and I was greeted by a delightful voice who happened to be my Zumba instructor Mariam Sheikh, my immediate concern was whether or not I’ll be able to keep up with the full of energy, high/low intensity, cardio boost enduring dance class, considering I haven’t exercised for as long as I could remember but my concern was swiftly put to ease as I was told that I can workout at my own pace.
The following week I made my way to the Zumba class feeling slightly nervous, but the moment I walked in I realized that this isn’t your average exercise class this is going to be different; I was warmly greeted by all the members of the dance class, everyone seemed to talk to each other which is a rare occurrence at the gym on a Monday morning.
Soon our instructor Mariam Sheikh swept in and I immediately spotted her almost enviable dancer calves, she uplifted the room with her energy, hooked her phone up with the sound system and executed a ferocious Dancersice move as we all followed and grooved along to our favourite dance numbers, the best part of Zumba is that you do not need to master the dance moves you just need to move your body and sweat, it feels like a party rather than a workout.
As weeks went by Zumba became my favorite time of the day and on the days I wasn’t Zumba-ing I actually missed my class. The up-beat music, featured choreography and high energy dance numbers had won my heart and I was surprised how just one month of Zumba had changed me. I was fit, healthy and confident. I embraced my inner dancing queen and rediscovered my fitness alter-ego that had been buried for years.
After just a month of feeling like I’m living in the 90s: my legs feel stronger, my stomach seems flatter, I have begun receiving compliments from strangers and I have even acquired a whole new wardrobe.
Mariam Sheikh, the inspiring woman that pushes us into shape has been successfully running her own Zumba class by the name of Dancersice in Faisalabad since 2016, growing up in the United States and Saudia Arabia she has experienced and explored different cultures, which has inspired her to bring a versatility to the dance fitness program.
Mariam tells us the benefits of Zumba.
Zumba is a dance inspired fitness form based on interval training , it alternates between high intensity and low intensity and the alterations are driven by the rhythm of the music.
It is a fun filled workout that helps burn fat and tone up your muscles, it is also known to reduce stress levels, strengthen ones heart, boost memory, diminish depression, it helps improve balance and increase energy levels. With one hour of Zumba you can burn up to 500-1000 calories and simultaneously improves cardiovascular fitness.
A typical class consists of a warm up of approximately 10-12 minutes and a dance routine that varies in intensity, the dance styles also vary and range from 90s Bollywood to Reggaeton and even belly dancing. Dancersice is a blend of Desi and international music, dance steps and exercise moves fused together. The class is concluded with strength exercises such as planks and stretches to help you cool down and relax your heartbeat and muscles.
If you follow the exercise plan provided in class and obtain the Zumba lifestyle for at least three months you can witness a drastic change on the scales and your body shape, it is a dance workout for everyone regardless of age and fitness.
By: Zahra Ali Khan