Squeezing the Most out of Your Zumba Class

Squeezing the Most out of Your Zumba Class

Accordion

The Zumba adventures continue even while there is no class for two weeks.  I have found another comparison between Zumba, my body, and a musical instrument.  First, though,  I want to take you back to my pre-Zumba university days.  Back to when I lived on campus and went out dancing quite often (who am I kidding, four nights a week) to party when I really should have been studying.  When I started university, moving away from home was a big deal, and I was in control of my life for the first time ever.  I made new friends and shared rooms with roommates.  One, in particular, comes to mind in relation to this story.  We were in different programs, and at times, there were personality conflicts.  It happens, and it is a part of growing up.

This roommate liked animals more than people and had a different taste in music than I did.  We would take turns playing our favourite music when we were in the room at the same time.  These days, that would not be a problem, because I am sure every Millenial out there has an MP3 Player of some sort with amazing headphones so the issue I ran into would not be a problem today like it was back then.  Yes, I am talking about playing music on a ghetto blaster, also known as a boom box.  Back then (yeah, I know this ages me some) we had cassette tapes, and CDs were still new.  It was a thing for us to play the music you liked for other people, and see if they liked it as much as you did.  Sometimes it was great.  Other times it was overplayed.  The worst was when you had to listen to someone else’s music that you hated because it was their turn to play their music.

Living with this roommate ALMOST ruined Bon Jovi for me.  She played it over and over and over.  My love for Bon Jovi returned after a few years, but it was iffy for quite some time.  When she decided to play a different band, I was open to hearing something new.  Oh boy, was that a short-lived bit of hope.  The other band she absolutely LOVED and wanted to play when she wasn’t playing Bon Jovi was a band called The Who.  I tolerated it the first time I listened to it, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea.

Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles still haunts me when I think of it. Twitch.  There was one song that I found amusing.  Squeeze Box.  It is a funny little song that has more than one meaning.  A Squeeze Box is another name for an accordion, but if you let your mind drift a little left of center, you know what the song could be referring to if you have any sort of a gutter based imagination.  Imagine my surprise when this song popped into my head in the middle of a Zumba class!

As of yet, we have not done Zumba to Weird Al Yankovic or any of his Polka Parties. (How much fun would THAT be)?  Weird Al is the accordion player that I listen to, and I really like his music.  I love the humour in his parodies, and the fun he inserts into my day if I am listening to his music.  I digress.  The Squeeze Box reference refers once again to my chest.

You see, I am rather curvy, and just as my hips sometimes get in the way of my bowling, my “girls” get in the way at Zumba.  I crack people up whenever I think this stuff up, because then I act on it, or tell someone the joke to see if it is funny.  A few weeks ago we were reaching in front with our arms.  Sometimes I feel like my arms are really too short, like T-Rex short.  So for the instructor to see, I pretended to extend my arms longer at my sides, and then cross them in front of my stomach like she was showing us to do, holding the upper parts of my arms straight down, and just bending them to reach to the front from my elbows.  I look really funny when I am flailing my arms like that.  She laughed.  She lost track of what she was doing for a minute.

Then, in another recent class, we were doing a move that involves crossing your arms in front of you while you make your legs wobbly and move your knees to touch each other, and back apart.  I know that might not be the best description, but if you think of the funny dance when you put your hands on your knees and move your legs like that and cross your hands back and forth, it is like that, except we are standing straight up, and you are crossing your arms in front of you.  So when we do this, I hold my arms straight out and cross them back and forth, but because I have short arms, the “girls” become my Squeeze Box, just like that song implies.  I shared my accordion thought and got the desired reaction from the Zumba Crew that heard me.  Another funny analogy brought to you by me, an old roommate, and Zumba.

As the summer time hits, and we are all working out in the heat, please remember to hydrate.  And when your Zumba instructor is encouraging you to show some fire in class, remember, it is about your dance moves, even if all you really feel like doing is putting out the fire with the Zumba move I am going to call the, “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”  If you decide that you NEED to try this out, and you want to deliver it with a bigger impact, throw in the T-Rex arms.  Hilarious, until you get the ambulance bill.

Oh, and by the way, my ghetto blaster is still working, as is my walkman.  Long live the mixed tapes and the local radio stations!  I am looking forward to my next trip to The Zumba Zone!

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 16

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 16

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 16

My hormones have gone CRAZY! When I was sick my body got a little confused, and now that it is getting on track, I WANT CHOCOLATE!  Not the square or two of the 85% cocoa that is on plan, but regular, easy to find, totally bad for me chocolate.  I am fighting with myself a lot right now.  I know what I should do, and then there is what I want to do.  Sometimes, the want is more than average, and my brain makes it a need.  So this week I gave in a little.

I also made the lasagna last Sunday, and I have been eating a piece a day for lunch this week.  I needed suppers, and I have planned an adventure in my kitchen that happened yesterday…

I love making Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole.  I don’t have any chicken breasts ready in the freezer to make it with.  So I poached some salmon pieces and made Salmon Bacon Ranch.  It turned out really good.  I swapped the chicken for salmon (poached in water with onion powder, dill and garlic) and made the recipe.  I doubled the dill, added spinach, and extra Miracle Whip and Plain Greek 0% fat yogurt.  I used extra old cheddar, and bacon bits.  I kept the parsley, cream cheese, garlic and pepper as per the recipe.

I was surprised at how good this turned out.  It is rich and heavy, but carb free.  I checked my sugars right after supper, and they were at 10.2.  For after eating, this is really close to normal range.  Considering that it was a Zumba night, and I had a juice box, a G2 and a snickers bar before supper, (I was hangry and dropping)  this is what I needed to see.  It means that I was correct about being low, and I didn’t do too much to overcompensate. YAY!

So what I am getting at this week is that sometimes, chocolate is a necessary evil.  More importantly, it is good to experiment in the kitchen with healthy recipes.  You might surprise yourself.

I am not going to have Zumba classes for a few weeks.  I am in charge of keeping the Zumba Crew motivated until class starts up again.  I have a few ideas, but I need to get the gumption up for me to work on it as I need to be active too, especially when classes are cancelled.  Dance off, anyone?

#TrustYourGut

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Surprise at Zumba

A while back someone gave me a smart band to wear at Zumba Class.  I already had a pedometer, but this levels it up for me.  It also keeps track of my heart rate, which I also use now that I can.

It has been helpful to keep an eye on my heart rate.  I am able to work out a little harder because I know when I check it, the smart band will tell me if I am working my heart too hard, or not enough.

I report my steps on the Zumba page also.  When I started, I was told you can get up to 5,000 steps in a Zumba Class.  As there is a movement in the world to get a minimum of 10,000 steps every day and walk your way to a healthier lifestyle, getting 50% of those steps done in an hour is a HUGE ADVANTAGE.  So if you are thinking that it is just another dance aerobics class, you are setting your standards for Zumba too low.

I average around 4,000 steps in a class.  Sometimes less, sometimes more.  My goal is to have it increase to the 5,000 steps (or more).  Since I got the smart band, another member of the Zumba crew is using my pedometer in class.  She is averaging 5,300 steps a class.  I have got to say, she is definitely in the Zumba Zone.  It is absolutely possible, and realistic to aim for 5,000 steps while in a Zumba class.

What else do I love about Zumba?  The Zumba Crew, the music, dancing, and having fun!  I don’t do all the moves, I’m not always confident that I can do them all.  I am changing how much I do all the time.  Some days I push myself.  Some days just being there and going through the motions is all I can do.  But I go, and I participate, however I can.

Sometimes I have to stop and check my blood sugars.  Most of the time, they are normal.  If they are low, it means I have to drink a juice box before continuing my workout.  If they are still low after that, it means I need candy and to lower my insulin dose before the next class.

I have missed a few classes this spring because I have been sick.  Nothing serious, but I was not able to go in the last few weeks.  I look forward to going back this week.  Monday is Victoria Day so the next class will be Wednesday.  If I am feeling better, I may just push myself to hit 5,000 steps.  It is something to work towards, and when I get there, I will aim higher.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

I Had Sass in Zumba Class!

Surprise at Zumba

I survived another Monday and made it to another Zumba Class!  I really enjoyed the music and the workout today.  I am tired, but I earned it.  We made it to 5,000 steps today!

I knew I was feeling like I needed a good workout.  I felt a little lethargic, but I knew I needed to go.  I got ready and found my place in the Zumba Crew.

I went for it!  Since I have this new smartband, I have been keeping an eye on my steps and my heart rate.  My resting heart rate is around 65.  Well, at one point it was really pumping, I felt like it was working hard.  I checked, and it was at 146.  Exercise success!  I increased my heart rate!  I paced myself for a bit with the music and brought it down to 85.

Then the music sped up again.  I was feeling it, but not like earlier.  It was back up to 101.  I worked out hard tonight.  It was a good class.  I managed to calm down without panicking about my heart rate when it was pumping really fast.

We were near the end, and I heard a song I knew the moves for.  So I got into a groove and was told I had some sass in the class tonight.  I was just getting my Zumba on, and I guess others noticed.  It is good to be in the Zumba Zone.  It was a great finish to another Monday.  My heart rate is closer to normal now, back at 75 beats.  So I have recovered from my workout, and now I can relax.

A quick google search gave me the answer to what a good heart rate during exercise is.  220 – your age= the maximum heart rate you should have to still be within a healthy range.  I still have wiggle room with that calculation, and with my weight being quite high, I do not want to max that out. Yet.

A target resting heart rate is 60-100 for the average person, and 40-60 for an athlete.  I guess I have some work to do on that also, but generally, my resting heart rate is near 60, so I am going to keep on believing that I have a strong, healthy heart, and keep on going to Zumba.  I like it, and it is good for me!  I got my heart rate up, and I had fun!  Those are 2 key points to remember when I am dragging my feet and don’t want to make the effort.  I AM WORTH THE EFFORT!  It certainly makes me feel better, and helps move the stress of the day job out of my system!

It’s all good, and when I pace myself, it is OK.  I am comfortable in my Zumba Crew and sometimes I dance to a different beat, but I am still there, and I am still dancing my way to being healthier.  Although I am tired after a really good class like this, I never want to stop!  It is a good tired, the best kind, and I had fun getting there. It is good for my heart and soul.  So I intend to keep going for as long as I can!

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Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Today is not my birthday, but someone gave me a present!

Surprise at Zumba

It is Monday.  I got up, went to work, then I went to Zumba.  I got a surprise when I was getting ready for class.

Someone anonymously had a Heartrate Monitor Smartband delivered to me before class started.  It was such a nice surprise!  When I say the Zumba Crew Rocks, I really mean it!

It didn’t turn on when I tried it on.  But I am glad I did because I had to learn how to take it off!  I took it home and plugged it into my computer.  It didn’t take too long to charge.  I have 2 days to get used to it before I can try it out in class.

I don’t know how to set the time and date on it yet, I will have to google that, I am sure.  But it is already measuring my heart rate, steps, distance and calories for me.  That is so neat!

I wear a pedometer in Zumba class, that is how I know that I had 3531 steps today.  It will be interesting to wear both in class Wednesday to see how they compare for the steps.  From what I see here, my resting heart rate is 67.  I hope that is OK.  When I exercise it will be a more important number to watch, I am sure.  The good news is that it is not capable of sending or receiving text messages, so I don’t have to take it off at work.  It is going to take some getting used to.  I will have to figure out how long the battery runs before I need to recharge it.  I am hoping there are some tips online for it, as I am interested in seeing what else it does.  I don’t know why it buzzes and vibrates, but I know it does.  That could be entertaining.

To whomever this gift is from, THANK YOU!  I need all the help and encouragement I can get in this journey to be a healthier version of myself, and it really means a lot!  I will take good care of it, and in turn, it will help me take better care of myself!  What a wonderful surprise!  😀

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