Teaching over 200 Zumba® participants per week, I have had every type of student: the professional dancer, the front row diva, the can’t-remember-the-moves-but-giving-it-my-all student, the high-impact guru, the leisurely dancer and more. But I’ve noticed there is one type of Zumba® participant who gets the most out of every workout. No matter how good he or she is at dancing, regardless of age, gender, or any other factor, this type of student always has the best results.
In fact, I use this same technique when I teach.
Q: The biggest secret to having a great Zumba workout?
A: Having a free-spirited, positive attitude and always wearing your smile!
That’s right, be positive and show your grin. I have chosen to do this when I work out because it’s good for my health. I always tell my students, ‘You burn more calories if you smile!’ because you are more likely to do bigger moves. You should be having an emotional connection to the dance.
- Smiling decreases stress. Studies have shown that it can reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- It helps you recover faster. This was shown in an experiment with people who smiled after accomplishing a stressful task.
- It helps you perform better. Runners have noticed the benefits!
- It makes you more approachable. Way to make new friends in your Group Exercise class!
- And of course, it costs nothing.
Next time you find yourself in class trying to keep up with the moves, burn more calories or just make a new friend, remember to bring your positive, free-spirited attitude. I’d better see you smiling next time!