MARYSVILLE — The Ken Baxter Community Center is moving to the rhythm from 9-10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as instructor Tamara Robbins leads the Zumba Gold class, courtesy of the city of Marysville’s Parks and Recreation Department, for those who want to take part in Zumba at a slightly slower pace.
“Zumba Gold was originally designed to give the active older population an opportunity to dance and have fun, but we’ve also seen an influx of folks who haven’t exercised for a while or are recovering from injuries,” Robbins said. “For those who have foot or ankle issues, or have had hip or knee replacements, it’s not so wiggly and a little less jumpy. It’s Zumba for a broader spectrum.”
At the same time, Robbins promised that those who try out Zumba Gold won’t find it lacking in the energy and enthusiasm levels of regular Zumba.
“It’s exercise in disguise,” Robbins laughed. “It’s the fastest hour of working out I’ve taught or done. I feel more joy during Zumba than in any other exercise class I’ve been in. It literally spreads joy and a sense of community like no other class can. You have so much fun with it that you’re disappointed when it ends.”
Robbins explained that Zumba improves coordination and balance through its dance moves.
“Your arms are moving one way and your feet are moving another, so it creates a tension between them that tones your muscles,” Robbins said. “It does an amazing job of developing core strength, upper-arm strength and eye-hand coordination, because your body is moving in ways that it doesn’t normally move.”
Robbins also touted Zumba Gold’s effectiveness as a weight-loss program, noting that it can burn between 300-800 calories per hour, and adding that one of her Zumba Gold students has lost 50 pounds. Jean Wilson has lost 20 pounds since she started Zumba Gold, and she’s 83 years old.
“I found out I had muscles in places that I’d forgotten I had,” Wilson laughed. “I have a very good time doing it, though, and I’m walking and doing my yard work a whole lot better. I’m not too old to be doing it. It keeps me happy.”
“A lot of people think of Zumba as super-strenuous, but Tamara makes sure that her Zumba Gold students can work at their own fitness level,” said Maryke Burgess, coordinator of the Ken Baxter Community Center.
For more information on Zumba Gold, log onto the city of Marysville’s website at http://marysvillewa.gov, and click the “Recreational Activities” tab of the “Parks & Recreation” menu, or call Burgess at 360-363-8450.