Thursday, July 3, 2014




     When I hear people tell me that they can’t do Zumba because of a medical condition, I think of this young man in a wheelchair who was at the free Zumba class at El Bosque Park in Mazatlán.  He was rockin’ and rollin’ to the rhythm of the Latin music, twirling his chair in circles, and doing Zumba in his wheelchair with such enthusiasm! I wished I had taken a video of his Zumba dance, it was so beautiful! While I watched him, I thought that if this man can do Zumba, anyone can. It’s just a matter of adjusting the dance to fit your physical condition. Of course, always consult your physician and/or physical therapist about the level and intensity that is advisable for your own condition. 
     Many people have told me that they have "weak knees" so they can't Zumba. Others tell me they have a "bad back" so they can't Zumba. I've heard the "sore toe" excuse, the "arthritis" excuse, the "fibromyalgia" excuse, the "inflamed ankle" reason, "the bad lungs" reason, and on and on... In almost every case, Zumba as an exercise will actually benefit these medical conditions if done at a level that is appropriate for the physical condition of the person. Sometimes a brace or support on the joint or back will help, In addition, modifying the Zumba moves by eliminating jumps or turns may be the right solution for your condition. Be aware of your own body so that you only twist, bend, and move to the limits of your joints and muscles. You may even want to sit down to do your Zumba moves, or to take a rest break during the class. But, keep moving! Feel the music! Move the parts of your body to the music in a way that is comfortable. Enjoy the motion, and your body and mind will benefit.
     I have met at least one person with each of the above medical conditions who does attend Zumba Classes and benefit from the movement. They have learned the importance of adjusting their moves to fit their own body. If it hurts, don't do it! If you are out of breath to the point where you can't talk and exercise at the same time, you need to slow your pace and decrease the intensity of your moves. Don't try to keep up with the young, energetic, physically prime Zumba Instructor. Move at the level that fits your condition. Just keep moving to the music and enjoy it! 
     Several DVDs are available to order over the internet that teach “chair exercises”. Examples are “Jodi Stolove’s Chair Dancing through the Decades” and “Chair Aerobics for Everyone – Wheelchair Workout Starring Amanda Cook”. These are good warm-up exercises to try, and then give “Chair Zumba” a try if that is best for your medical condition. There is a level of Zumba for every person. Consult your physician for the level that is advisable for you, and then listen to your body. Do Zumba at the level that is comfortable and beneficial for your medical condition.
     To read more about the "Free Zumba at El Bosque Park in Mazatlán, see my blog article dated 12/18/13.
                                                            COPYRIGHT ©2014 by Terry L Turrell
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