Zumba’s Latin beat gets hearts pumping

Lori Gehring, center, of the Village of Marsh Bend, takes part in a recent Zumba class lead by Patti Davis, at the Everglades Recreation Center in The Villages.

As residents file in to her 10 a.m. Zumba class at Everglades Recreation Center, Patti Davis gets them ready to sweat with one key element — switching on the music. Davis has noticed the positive impact the music choice has on students, and she is not alone: A recent study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that high-tempo music both boosts heart rate and decreases perceived effort during exercise. Zumba classes in The Villages, like Davis’s Tuesday class, incorporate high-tempo music for a fun and beneficial dance workout. “When you’re dancing, especially if you’re a lover of dance, you’re working out but you don’t even realize it,” said Davis, of the Village of Pine Hills. “Your heart rate is up, you’re smiling and burning calories.”  Its popularity shows locally, as residents fill up about 30 Zumba classes at recreation centers every week. Zumba mixes low- and high-intensity dance moves for an interval-style workout. Village of Fenney resident Faith Latham had taken similar classes for at least 20 years, like Jazzercise, before Zumba was created. What makes Zumba different, she said, are the Latin beats.


Read this story and many others in Tuesday’s edition of the Daily Sun.