Catching ZUMBA fever

Fusing easy to follow latin and hip-hop dance moves with loud, upbeat music, some might mistake a Zumba class for a party, not a fitness class designed to burn more than 500 calories per session.

501 LIFE recently asked Ellen Haverstick of Advanced Physical Therapy Center – which offers regular Zumba classes – to explain this popular new exercise.

Is there any special equipment needed for the exercise?
No special equipment is needed to participate in a Zumba class. Just bring yourself, your water bottle and a comfortable pair of shoes. If you forget your smile, you can bet you will  leave with one!

Is it fun? Strenuous?
The catch phrase for Zumba is “Ditch the workout. Join the party!” It is guaranteed fun! 
The classes are self-paced, meaning you can modify the dance moves to meet your fitness level.  It may take a few sessions to catch on to the more advanced moves, which are designed to raise the heart rate, engage the abdominal muscles and challenge your coordination. 

Why is APTC offering Zumba?
We are continuously encouraging our patients to engage in regular exercise to lower their health risks. Once we were introduced to the Zumba fitness program we knew that it would appeal to our patients and members of the community, because it is new, exciting and most of all fun.
When and how often are sessions held at APTC?
Our ZUMBA Instructor, Jessica Cornett, currently offers classes at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, noon Wednesday and occasionally on Saturday mornings. Most of the participants keep up with class schedules by becoming a Facebook fan of Advanced Physical Therapy Center. 

Do men and women do Zumba? Young and old?
Zumba is for anyone who wants to get his or her body moving. Of course, there are risks involved and a proper health screen is recommended prior to participation, but most anyone can modify the exercise to meet his or her needs. 
The classes at Advanced Physical Therapy Center are offered to anyone over 12 who does not have a serious health risk or recent injury.
Also, you can check out the Zumba website ( to find certified instructors who teach classes designed specifically for children or elderly persons. You can also purchase Zumba DVDs if you want to participate from home.

What are the health/wellness benefits associated with Zumba?
The health benefits vary per individual but may include improved cardiovascular conditioning, improved coordination, improved core stabilization, enhanced weight loss, improved joint mobility, improved flexibility and improved strength.

Why do you think Zumba has become so popular?
It is exciting. It is fun. It enables an ordinary person to experience traditional Latin and trendy hip-hop dance moves in a wholesome environment. Participants leave the class feeling a little younger, a little more hip and they just burned about 500 calories.