Can I Still Do This At 60?
Interview Page with Video!
At 63 I am loving the ZUMBA Workout and the effect it has on my energy levels and my midriff!
This is us (me far right in black) after our Zumba Class with instructor Rachel at Coin on the Costa del Sol, Spain.
I asked Rachel about the Zumba and why she thinks it’s great for older women too! This is what she had to say..
Q. Rachel why is Zumba so close to your heart?
I think it was because even though I had trained as a professional dancer and dance teacher I came across the Zumba workout at a time I needed to get back into shape. After I had my daughter in 2006 I had not performed in three years and I had put on weight, two dress sizes and that is a lot for someone with a small frame like mine. I suffered from terrible back pain due to birth complications. Once my physiotherapist said it was safe I tried aerobics and other exercises but either suffered too much pain due to my back problems or just got bored with the monotony of fitness programs.
Zumba was different! I knew that straight away. It was fun and did not overwork any part of the body yet worked all the body just enough to see results and quickly. Instead of dreading going to my Zumba workout I looked forward to it, I ended up doing five sessions a week. Loving the routines I had mastered and relishing learning new ones. Before I knew it I had lost all the extra weight and my body was more toned than ever, I also had constant energy and more stamina than I had ever had. That is when I knew rather than going to back to teaching my other styles I had to train to teach Zumba. If it could do this for me I knew it would work for others. I know it sounds corny but Zumba changed my life and I wanted to be able to help it do the same for other women.
Q. How do you feel about older women and Zumba?
This is very important to me because every week I receive emails from ladies who are worried they are too old to come to class or they will be the oldest person there. I have such an age range in my class from sixteen to ladies in their upper sixties. No one is too old to join a Zumba workout class. When you start as with any exercise program you learn the basics and it takes a little time to master routines. You don’t always have huge amounts of stamina, whatever your age but this comes because Zumba helps you to build stamina. I have women in my class who are over 65 who are still bounding with energy at the end of an hour session and young girls of 16 that are worn out after the first four songs and have to take a minute to get their breath. All I can say to ladies who are worried is to come along and try for yourself. You will quickly see that you will not only master the routines but the new found energy the Zumba workout gives you will benefit you even outside of class. It is really important to me that NO women whatever their age miss out on this because they are getting older. You either move it or lose it! Dance is one of the most therapeutic and fun ways to keep fit.
Q. How can women approaching 60 and over benefit physically from Zumba?
It is a time of life a womans body is changing. Gradual weight gain particularly around the mid section and lack of energy are huge concerns. The Zumba workout is a great way for women to work the whole body. Every single dance routine in Zumba works every part of the body especially the trouble zone for all women, the abdominals. The twists and turns in our Salsa and Merengue numbers work this area a treat but never over do it like sit ups and other aerobic exercises do. Zumba is a great cardio vascular exercise helping women to stay heart healthy and combat the staggering rates of heart disease among women today. The weight bearing in Zumba helps increase bone density and lowers the risk of osteoporosis. Dance is a complete and gentle form of exercise so it is suitable for women of all ages. Older participants love the fact that you can take things at your own pace and just give it your all or less depending on how they feel!
3 minute Video of a warm up routine. Take a look!
Q. What other benefits does the Zumba workout hold for older women?
Besides the huge health benefits I think the added stamina that one builds with regular classes benefits older women greatly in their day to day life. Also that chance to get away from everything for an hour. Whatever is going on in their life, they can just put the world on pause. You have to concentrate in the Zumba workout to practice routines or learn new ones and you don’t have time to think about all those worries in the outside world. Last but not least the social aspect of Zumba is a big one. It’s a great opportunity to meet other women of all ages and backgrounds. They dance, laugh and sweat together and many a friendship is formed.
Q. Are there any dangers and what is your advice?
As with any exercise program it is important to consult your physician if you have health problems. Most importantly you must know your own body and its limits. If one particular move for example hurts then don’t do it. The great thing about the Zumba workout is you can always drop or modify movements in a routine to avoid a problem area being hurt. If you have a bad back some of our side bends don’t have to be taken as deeply or if you have bad knees you can modify a twist to a side step. Always make sure you are well hydrated. Good supportive footwear is a must in Zumba, dance trainers and shoes are best. I tell all new class members to take the first few classes slowly, pace yourself and do not push your body to its absolute limits. Take it in your own time, sit out if you need to take a break and jump back in when you are ready. Of course you should always be able to discuss any worries and seek advice from your instructor.
Q. Some women believe that Zumba is too fast paced and they won’t be able to cope. What’s your advice?
ZUMBA can be fast paced although we have fast and slow routines to balance out the hour of class. The first couple of classes can feel intimidating because all the routines are new and new moves always seem faster than they actually are. You are thinking a lot about the steps and working out at the same time so you need to give yourself a chance to adjust to the program, learn the steps and build stamina. Sometimes we are too quick to throw in the towel, take the “I can’t do it” attitude. There is a lot of power in the mind and a positive mental attitude helps greatly when exercising, especially in those early days. It is important to go to any such class with an open mind. You must take things at your own pace, don’t give it your all for the first routine or two, save a little energy and class by class you will notice how much more energy you have, instead of feeling tired at 20 minutes in you will notice you are 45 minutes in and although having a good workout you still have energy left!
Q. We all know that “fit” is healthy and attractive and it shows! Do you see evidence of this in your classes as women become stronger and more fit?
That questions actually makes me well up a bit. In one of my classes that has been going for quite some time I have many participants from when the class first began. The difference in their bodies and appearance in general is amazing. Not only do I see women lose weight and tone their bodies. I see women that used to come to class in a baggy T shirt and stand in the back quiet as mice now dressed in zumba wear, bouncing around standing in the front row and oozing confidence! Women in my classes often come and tell me that they are buying new clothes because their shape has changed so much. They also buy clothes that they would never have worn before because they felt them too revealing or just lacked the confidence to wear. That’s why I do what I do! That is why I teach ZUMBA! An exercise program that can change people, body and mind and give them a new found confidence. They actually want to stick to the Zumba workout because it’s fun! Well what more can I ask for than to help women of any age discover something quite so magical?
The ZUMBA Workout..
You will never have so much fun getting fit!
Find out more about Rachel M and her classes
What is Zumba Dance?
What is Zumba Gold?
Zumba Videos To Help You Get Started!
Getting In Shape After 60!
Find All Page Titles for Mature Women on the Site Map
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