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Friday, 15 April 2011

Oh yes sir, I can boogie

I'm not overkeen on exercise videos. Not since this - the Cindy Crawford post-natal exercise video. In my post-baby state, the last thing I needed was Cindy doing press-ups on a beach in her knickers. Worse - she pretended to find the exercises hard.

I refused to accept that Cindy Crawford could only hack 10 leg lunges.

The workouts were interspersed with slow-motion videos of her faffing around with her infant son. I remember screaming at the screen - Cindy, get your damn child out of the rose garden and get on with the workout.  I haven't got all day.

But this week I got the offer of a review copy of a Zumba DVD (the top one here). And where was the harm in trying? Sitting on my backside watching Waking the Dead hasn't done me any favours.

So yesterday Littlest and I decided to get our Zumba on. The cheery music began, and the three superhuman women onscreen started moving around. God knows what they were doing. They went so fast that we could barely see their arms. Even Littlest couldn't keep up. "I can't go that fast! She's going bananas!" she shouted, whilst throwing herself around the room like a pinball. The main onscreen woman kept grinning. Her elaborately-coiled hair continued to look fantastic. "Doubles!" she cried. "Singles!" We didn't really have much of a clue which was which.


But the music was upbeat, so we carried on. We abandoned all attempts to keep up with the moves, figuring that as long as we kept jigging about, it didn't really matter. The workouts were split into tiny little segments, and no-one asked us to stop and fetch tins of beans or bits of furniture (I'm looking at you, Cindy) so we didn't get bored. We were dancing! We were in the zone!

The Grandmother came round to borrow something and just joined in. And for one golden moment there we were, three generations of the same family, exercising together, laughing, dancing, living the dream... and then The Grandmother said her back was hurting and wandered off.

Later we strapped Eldest into her standing frame so she could do the arm movements. (What, you don't strap your child into a frame? Doesn't everyone?) Because when we test something, we test it good. Young. Old. Disabled. Does anyone have a dog we can borrow?

I had to hide behind the stairs to snap Eldest. "Not the face," she said. Too cool to be pictured doing Zumba with her mother.


The workouts are split across three DVDS, all working on different 'zones', but the individual routines are so quick that it's easy to fit one or two in without thinking you have to cancel your plans for the day. I wouldn't pay £24.99 for it, but then I buy nearly everything in charity shops so I'm not a reliable barometer when it comes to cost.

And I have to admit it, I really enjoyed it.  Twenty minutes dancing round the living room with my children and I was a different person. Exercise can be boring, but dancing does make you happy, it seems - even if you're doing it all wrong.

26 comments:

  1. On 10-10-10, three of us found ourselves in a hotel room while Our Father performed a wedding at the St. Louis Botanical Garden. As the boys jumped on the beds, I vegged in front of the TV. Suddenly I was sucked into an infomercial for Zumba, and was strangely riveted. The rest is history. I can't figure out the moves, either (and yes, those dancers are so fast that they must have little motors somewhere) but darned if it isn't fun...

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  2. they offer zumba classes at my local jym... but I'm not sure I can be tempted. Even though I was a hurdler in my hay days and am reasonable coordinated the moment music starts I loose all connections between muscles and brain.

    It's not a pretty sight. Not even in the privacy of my living room!!

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  3. I'm puffed out just reading about it!

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  4. ooooh fun! and so much better than in front of anyone at a class!

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  5. I think that might bring on my exercise urticaria (yes that is a real medical condition). It looks fun but I have to stick to slow exercise so I've been doing pilates for a couple of months now and although it doesn't puff you out it does make you fell like you've done some exercise.

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  6. I fancy this zumba lark, I really do. I could do with being in the zone.

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  7. We got Just Dance for the Wii a while back. Laughing at the 3 boys of the household jigging along to 'It's raining Men' is about as much exercise as my abdominal muscles are going to get ever!

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  8. You could be right... and combining dancing and laughing could be best of all. I'm frequently known to dance around for no rason at all, although the family think I'm bonkers!

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  9. DS prefers to boogie to various Wii music thingies. I occasionally flap my arms about in time to the music. Which is very funny, apparently! He does stuff on his iPad in his standing frame. An Easystand, in case you're wondering !
    http://www.easystand.com/evolv/index.cfm

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  10. I love dancing around the house like that. As you say, who cares if you get it right or wrong? It lifts the mood. Go for it!

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  11. Reading this made me happy.

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  12. Most of my friends do zumba, and rave about it, and it does sound like fun. Until they tell me that their teacher is very into shimmying and I fear I'll give my neighbours black eyes as well as myself if I try that malarkey ...

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  13. That sounds like the "coolest" afternoon ever! But then, I'm such a mom... ;0)

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  14. I love that you review a product and then cheerfully tell the world that you'd not pay 24.99 for it.

    You're my kind of woman.

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  15. That sounded creepy didn't it. Heh.

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  17. Those standing frames rock!
    And Zumba, dear coffee lady, I can't imagine you doing it. Is it harder to do while holding a mug?

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  18. How brilliant, three generations dancing!! Doesn't matter how long it lasts, the memory of it lasts forever.
    (Youngest came home the other day telling me they had 'zombied at school for international week'. There were wildly wheeling arms and legs when I asked what that meant. I was puzzled, to say the least. Middle enlightened me, looking at his sister with a barely concealed sigh of impatience, but I quite liked her version..)

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  19. loved the cindy crawford references - specially the getting the child out of the rose garden!
    glad the dvd got you all going!

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  20. does it count as exercise if i've read about you doing a workout?

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  21. Your post made me smile:) Think I will dust off some of my dvds and give it a go with my little one!

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  22. well done for giving it go - along with the rest of your family! i was given a yoga dvd for christmas and so far i have sat on the sofa with a pizza and a cider and watched it - to see what i am up against you understand

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  23. "Exercise can be boring but dancing makes you happy". Now see, this is what I've been trying to tell the world for ages. Dance on girls.

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  24. zumba looks crazy! but perhaps in this context its a good kinda crazy. bloody cindy crawford and her supermodel body - let's dance!

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  25. They are starting a Zumba class at my gym. I may go and report back. Unless I put my back out...

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  26. I usually don't approve of exercise but I'll make an exception.

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