New to Zumba? Here are 5 Things You Need Want to Remember

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Zumba on Your Mind?

Stepping into a Latin-dance-inspired Zumba class for the very first time can be overwhelming. Between all the new faces and loud music, the whole scene can be a little unnerving. If you’ve always wanted to check out the “fitness dance party” for yourself, these five must-haves chosen by Fitness & Fashion blogger Leela Sule are bound to make your first experience a lot easier:

1.  A Drink

Nope, not the alcoholic kind (at least not before class).  Don’t rely on running to get sips from a water fountain during class! You should have your own beverage with you to make sure you stay hydrated.  Sure, Zumba’s more like a party than a typical group fitness class, but you’ll be working much harder than you’ll realize.

Water is always fine. “Personally, I like either Smartwater or Powerade Zero to give you some electrolytes to help replenish what you’re sweating out without calories,” says Leela.

2.  Headband/Bandana, Scrunchie

You can’t focus on having fun in Zumba (and you won’t see your Instructor), if you’ve got sweat running into your eyes. “I don’t know about you, but my hair’s long and thick,” said Leela. “While I’m glad it is, I can’t stand it on my neck and face when I’m working out, so a ponytail is essential for me.”

You’re going to be dripping at the end of class if you’re making any effort at all, so make yourself as comfy as possible!

3.  Gym Towel

Even if you have your headband, bandana and/or Scrunchie, you’re going to want a nice towel to supplement your sweat removal efforts.  Are you getting the idea that you’re going to sweat in Zumba class? Good!

4.  A Light Snack

I know you’re probably thinking that you’re going to Zumba to burn calories, so why would we be talking about eating something?  Especially when you’re taking an evening class, you’re probably eating dinner afterwards, so a light snack like an energy bar, a piece of fruit, a bag of cereal that travels easily,–whatever you like that’s healthy, light and portable–is a good idea. “I always have a bag of Cheerios and an energy bar with me in my Zumba carry bag, said Leela. “In case of emergency, open bag!”

“You can have your snack before class, so that you’ve got the energy to give it your all without listening to your stomach growl the whole time. Or if you feel you’re okay before class, having a light snack after class but before you can go home and get dinner also can make sense,” Leela says.

You’re probably going to be starving after Zumba class if you haven’t eaten anything, and being overly hungry can lead to overeating at dinner if you’re not careful.  By having a snack before or after class, you’ll be able to make the right choices for dinner without letting your stomach be your sole guide.

5.  A Friend, Family Member Or Co-Worker

“If you’re new, while you’re definitely going to make some new friends by regularly going to Zumba, you may feel better having at least a familiar face who’s starting out with Zumba at the same time as you,” Leela advises.  And if you’re a regular, you already know what great things Zumba is doing for your body and mind–you’d be doing a great thing by introducing someone you care about to the benefits of Zumba.  So bring a friend, family member or co-worker to Zumba–male or female–and have a blast!