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Aug 24, 2014

There is Such a Thing as a Free Workout Class

I LOVE free stuff.

Growing up, my dad would often remind me, that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Do you know what there is in this world? Free workouts. And you better bet that I find them.

Gyms often give you your first class free. In a city the size of Seattle I could probably get a six pack solely by taking free classes. Sometimes it does work out for the gym. I'm hooked on Flywheel and Corepower and pay $20+ a class now as a result of a free initial class.

There are also some classes that are always free. My first summer in Seattle I got turned on to free Zumba classes at the Seattle Center (a park, arts, and entertainment center in Seattle that holds the Space Needle). I started going with my new friends, and it has since been a tradition three years in a row. We call it Space Needle Zumba, and it's the best thing to happen to Tuesday nights since Dance Moms Season 2.

If you haven't done Zumba before, it's probably the most fun you will ever have "working out". While it's not super strenuous, researchers did find that participating in a single Zumba fitness class burned an average of 369 calories. Free + friends + fitness is a recipe that I totally love.

There are a few things that make this class particularly amazing.

Being Outside: After being inside an office all day, there is nothing better than peacing out at 5:15pm to make it to the most important meeting you will have all day, Zumba. In addition to being outside in the sun, working out outside has other benefits, one of which is that it is mirror-less. Honestly if I'm going to flap my arms around and do the whitest salsa moves you have ever seen, I would prefer not to see myself doing it. Taking a Zumba class without a mirror lets me stop thinking about how I look and just have fun with it.

The Tourists: As I mentioned, Seattle Center homes the Space Needle so the area, especially in the summer, is swarming with tourists. As if people don't think Seattle is a weird place already, add people dancing on a Tuesday night in public to the odd things they will see on their trip to the Pacific Northwest. 
Tourists have one of many reactions to stumbling across the class:
1. Stopping and staring... sometimes even just sitting down nearby to watch
2. Taking pictures and videos (you can't tell me dancing poorly in public can be any less cool than taking pictures on an iPad). I can't imagine how many videos and pictures on social media my Zumba moves are captured in.
3. Joining in the fun (these are the cool tourists, obvi)

On occasion a Seattle Segway tour goes by, then suddenly you are no longer the weirdest crew in Seattle Center.

The Teacher:  The instructor, Chia-Chi Bonnie Wang, is amazing. It's pretty much impossible to leave in a bad mood. Her music is fun and she rocks the smile. As a former cheerleader I have to say that she kills it with the facials. Not the type that you would bust out at football games, but the type you would save for competitions. This.... if you have no idea what I am talking about.
Us with Chia-Chi Bonnie Wang and some random who decided to be in our picture.
 Diversity: The last and final thing that is totally awesome about Space Needle Zumba is the diverse crowd that attends. Every spin and yoga class draws mostly the same crowd. Space Needle Zumba is an escape from perfectly fit Lululemon wearing YoPros. This crew is diverse. There is the Zumba teacher in training, with her Zumba gear on nailing every move. Then there is the granny (pink shorts and visor below) who can't keep up with the choreography but rocks it free style instead. It's always an interesting mix of people, but everyone is ready to have fun. 
Last week was the last Tuesday of the summer with Space Needle Zumba. I leave you with my favorite jam from the class... Bouje (not boosey sadly). There is no way you can listen to this song, watch the video below, or try the moves and not feel fantastic!


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  2. Zumba is all about letting go and having fun! This is a great way to relieve stress and take your mind off some of your troubles. With Zumba you can get lost in the upbeat music and release some positive endorphins as you dance and shake your worries away.

    Whether it is your first class or you are a dancing pro, you can always make Zumba be an effective and challenging workout. It’s fun for all fitness levels, ages, and gender! There is no large learning curve as well. First timers can easily jump right in and follow along with the instructor. Most instructors will also demonstrate a modified version of some dance moves.

    There are several more wonderful health benefits of Zumba but as you can see this enjoyable, party-like workout has many positive effects both physically and mentally. Come check it out for yourself!