Giving in to Zumba

This past weekend I saw my best friend from high school, Ms. Melody Moezzi. She visited me from across the country, and we hadn’t seen each other in over two years! It’s interesting to see people after a while–even though we talk frequently on the phone, seeing someone in person makes some things more real. One of the activities Melody insisted we cover this weekend was a Zumba class. Now, I’ve been hearing about this zumba craze for a couple of years now, and I’ve heard Melody talk about how great it is, how it’s fun, it’s a great workout, and how addicting it is. I’ve always shied away from what I consider fads–I’m really not sure why, since something must be good about it if so many people like it, right? I think I worry about being too much of a conformist, and not an individual thinker. Not that any of the other exercise I do is crazy unique or anything–it’s a combination of yoga, running, spin class, and occasionally the Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred video (which is amazingly hard but great after about three days or so).

That being said, Melody had such enthusiasm in person about the class, that I thought, why not? We showed up early Saturday morning and filed in with about 15 other women or so. Something I noticed right away (and yes, psychiatrists do notice everything, whether we admit it or not), was the diversity of the women. Ages ranged from 20’s to 60’s, and a wide range of race was covered–Hispanic, Middle Eastern, black, white, and East Asian. This was one trend that spanned all cultures.

Once the class started, the music starting bumping, as did the instructor’s behind. I was really impressed with how she moved, to be honest. Also–she seemed to really enjoy herself, and encouraged us to enjoy ourselves as well. She had three fifteen minute segments of Middle Eastern belly dancing, Indian bhangra, and of course merengue. All of it was fun, fast, and got us sweating. It was really liberating, and since most of the women were not official dancers per se, no one seemed to feel self conscious about fumbling with some of the more complex moves.

All in all, I’m glad I gave it a chance, and now I have a new workout to add to my repertoire. The psychiatrist in me feels obligated to throw in this tidbit–that exercise can be as effective as medication for depression. Yes, that’s right, if you’re not too depressed to get yourself out there, it can raise your serotonin levels as much as a medication, and is a good option (or addition) for treatment. So get out there, and get moving!

As always, I welcome any comments and questions.

Explore posts in the same categories: Depression, General Mental Health

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2 Comments on “Giving in to Zumba”

  1. I had a blast this weekend and am so glad you enjoyed the zumba class. As you know, I too pride myself in my individualism, and I didn’t start taking classes until a couple years after I first heard about it. So, we’re pretty much in the same boat. I also appreciate you not mentioning how painfully sedentary I’ve been for the past decade or so before starting the zumba (and becoming “zumbafied”) a few months ago :).

  2. Irini Says:

    Great to hear! I need to try Zumba too (and work out more, in general)!

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