Saturday, 25 January 2014

Fit for 2014

Zumba If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I’m a regular attendee of my local Zumba class. After I left university last summer I moved home and came back to my old class and haven’t looked back since.

Zumba is a Latin American inspired dance workout and it really took off a few years ago in the UK. It incorporates dance into a full body workout and the result of that is classes that can burn 500-1000 calories in an hour, depending on the intensity of your workout. And that’s what makes it unique – it’s YOUR workout. You work to your own level of fitness as all of the moves can be broken down or built up to different levels of complexity. And don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone there is on a weightloss mission! Zumba keeps you fit, builds muscle and is great for toning too.

To me, Zumba is more than just a workout. I go to classes 3-4 times a week so during the week it is a big part of my social life as I’ve made new friends and I leave the class with a smile on my face every single time. Group exercise might not be for everyone but there’s a feeling of community that you get at a local Zumba class that you don’t get so much in a gym. This is us at Christmas!




Now onto the review!

Polar watches are designed to monitor your heartrate, fat burning and calorie burning in your workouts. The product comes in three parts, the watch (mine is pink), the chest strap and the heart rate monitor that clips onto the strap. I couldn’t believe how easy the watch was to set up. I turned it on, followed the on screen instructions to set the time, date and my personal stats so I’d get an accurate reading of calories burnt and time in the ‘fat burning zone’.



To use the heart rate monitor, you need to wet the chest strap (this is necessary for a reading to be taken) and put it round you so it fits snugly around your chest. You then attach the monitor with the press studs, it links to the watch via Bluetooth and away you go.

I purchased a Polar watch because my friend has one (copycat, yes, I know!) and because I felt that I needed a bit of a boost with my workouts, something to aim for. The first time I used it, I didn’t have my chest strap on tight enough which meant it wasn’t picking up my heartrate and it kept ‘going out of the zone’ so didn’t register that I was burning calories. Thankfully, I tightened it up in my next class and burnt around 700 calories in the hour. As Zumba is high intensity, it’s about calorie burning rather than staying in the ‘fat burning zone’ (this is measured by your heart rate and you’re given set limits of minimum and maximum). What I love about it is that as there are a few of us with these watches in the class, we can compete to see who burns most which makes me work that bit harder.

I’d really recommend getting a Polar watch if like me, 2014 is a year that’s about fitness and if you’re not planning on getting fit and your New Year’s resolution is to have fun, get down to a local Zumba class, it’s such a laugh, you won’t regret it!

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