The Waiting Room

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Let's Dance...Maybe Not

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I decided to try Zumba. I have heard some many great things about it and a few of you have had great results with it. So, in my quest to try things that I wanted to try but didn't have the time, I went to a Zumba class at my gym.

First, the class was huge. Of course, this is the time of year where the gym is packed with people whose New Year's resolution is to lose weight. I found a spot near the front of the class, but off to the side, so I could see the instructor.

The instructor shouted out instructions over a headset microphone, which was kind of hard to hear. I was able to understand Rule #1 which was "Keep moving and have fun". Sounds easy enough.

The music started and so did I. Despite having studied dance in my younger days, it took me a little while to catch on. About 15 minutes into class, I was moving pretty well. Then, the joints decided that they were not happy with the repetitive jumping and bouncing. My knees, hips and elbows started to ache. I modified my movements to accommodate my limited ability.

I gave in after 30 minutes.

I guess Zumba isn't meant for people with RA.

I am not disappointed. I am proud that I was able to make it 30 minutes. I have a great time. Perhaps when I reach full remission, I can try it again. But, I think I will stick to my usual routine of elliptical, bike, tredmill or water aerobics.

Most of all, I am proud that I tried.

10 comments:

sciencegeeka said...

You should give yoga a try. No jarring movements, plenty of options if you can't flex as far. I just started going a couple of months ago, and I really like it. I am so out of shape, and I just realized that you can see the muscles in my shoulder now.

Mandy said...

I have never tried Zumba. I think it's great that you tried it!!

Seeking Solace said...

Hey Geeka! Yeah, I've done yoga. I am thinking about going back to it. It would probably help me with all the work stress. :)

Brigindo said...

Have you ever tried Tai Chi? Studies have shown significant improvements for a number of ailments, including RA, and its a beautiful exercise. I also love yoga but of the two I would choose Tai Chi (not that you have to choose).

I have given up on any form of exercise that involves jumping and bouncing. I don't feel it is necessary once you've passed 40.

Seeking Solace said...

Brigindo: I heard the same thing about Tai Chi. And you are right about jumping and moving at 40. I can't move the way I used to!

Belle said...

Zumba is fun, but not for the faint of heart or the achy of joints. I found that shoes were essential (the cushier the better) and paying attention to the part of the instructions that said to modify the moves if they jarred you. I did note that the more I did it, the better my joints got at handling an incremental increase in intensity. It should be done, most likely, on a bouncy floor, not hard concrete. Of course, that's not where they do it...

Rebecca said...

My poor daughter had to stop dance classes, which she'd taken since she was little, at 16 due to joint problems in her knee. It's so sad when our bodies let us down. :(

But good for you for getting out there and searching. Fortunately, as others have mentioned, there are alternatives. I'd love to find one myself. Best of luck!

comebacknikki said...

I love zumba, but Belle's right -- it's really not for not for the faint of heart or the achy of joints!

I've been taking zumba classes for a little over a year now -- I don't have any joint issues, but there was still a fairly significant adjustment period. I did the low impact moves for a few months & then slowly worked my way up to the full jumpy version. I've found that super-cushy/arch support insoles really help with the impact.

Sherlock said...

Kudos for trying it out! I did belly dancing for a while. That is one that can be easily modified to specific joint issues. I taught country line dancing for years until the knees went really bad. Until then I wore a brace and special dancing sneakers and did fine (although I had to give up the complicated fast dances after a while). Then I tried tai chi and nearly killed the muscles in my shoulders and legs (very fragile muscles as well as joints).

Now? Well walking isn't good. It's funny but before I gave up dancing, I could do that but couldn't walk a long ways. Go figure. Anyway I'm going through my recorded dance CDs that I used for teaching and pulling out all my dancing instructional materials. Hoping to go at it again very slowly for a while. I need to get moving again. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Kai said...

I have the Zumba Wii workout and it's been great, but I can definitely see how the repetitive movements could wear on the joints. Big kudos for you for trying something new!!!

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