Have You Danced Today? Easing into the dance fitness craze with Sh’Bam and Zumba at O2 Fitness
Its no secret that dance has gained extensive popularity in the past decade, as evident by popular series such as Dancing With the Stars, and So You Think You Can Dance. The fitness industry has responded in turn with dance fitness classes being, often, the most packed classes in clubs across the nation. The Amercian College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has even named dance fitness classes in their top ten trends for 2012.
Dance has always been a backbone of the group fitness industry and dance fitness classes were around long before they so widely popular. Jazzercise was one of the first programs to hit the mainstream market and was actually developed in 1969. Since then, most fitness clubs have always offered some form of dance fitness from hip-hop classes to dance step.
SO why the growing popularity now? With less time and more stress in most people’s lives, gym-goers need a way to have fun, burn calories and stay healthy at the same time, without the seriousness of a dance studio atmosphere. The two most popular dance fitness programs O2 Fitness offers are easy to follow and appropriate for any fitness level.
Sh’Bam debuted in early 2011 as Les Mills’ answer to the dance fitness class appropriate for anyone. Sh’Bam boasts an average of 506 calories burned each class and there is no shortage of fun in the process! The moves are simple, with most songs consisting of two primary combinations or movements that repeat during throughout the song. Each class blasts those calories off in only 45 minutes and consists of 12 different songs, ranging from current hits, to latin selections, to 80s and 90s hits and remixes.
What can Sh’Bam do for you? Simple. Fun aside, it is a serious cardio workout. By taking participants through alternating periods of work and rest, the workout does challenge the cardiovascular system, resulting in a leaner body composition, reduced blood pressure, decreased total cholesterol, and improved overall heart function, among many other benefits. It also helps to improve coordination and agility by moving participants in various directions and through different dance steps. Finally, especially important for women, Sh’Bam helps to build bone density.
Zumba is another program designed to burn calories and shape and tone the body while giving participants an hour of fun. Zumba’s slogan, “Ditch the workout, join the party,” most effectively describes its creator’s goal to this latin-inspired dance workout. Developed in 2001by Alberto “Beto” Perez, Zumba classes are now offered in clubs, studios and even basements and parking lots all over the country. Like Sh’Bam, the moves are easy to follow and repetitive in each song, so participants learn quickly and can easily get their heart rates up for a great workout.
No Zumba class is the same! Each instructor brings the basic, easy to follow steps into their classes, but no two classes are alike. Each instructor varies the music selection and pattern of movements per class and can even use Zumba basic training with their own music selection versus the traditional latin mixes.
So, which is better? They are both so awesome, good luck deciding which one to try first! And if you’ve already been to one, then consider yourself trendy in the fitness world for 2012.
American College of Sports Medicine. (2011, October 17). Survey Predicts Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2011. www.acsm.org
Les Mills International. (2011). The Exercise Science Behind Sh’Bam. Sh’Bam Program Manual. (pp. 14-15). www.zumba.com