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Try It: Dance for Fitness

Working out doesn’t have to feel like work—have fun with Zumba and other dance-inspired moves!

Latin music floats through the air and you can’t resist tapping a toe, moving a leg, circling a hip, then soon you’re moving all over the dance floor. The Zumba dance exercise trend is sweeping across the country. And with good reason: This workout moves just about every muscle in your body, providing cardiovascular exercise that helps burn lots and lots of calories.

The best part: A Zumba class feels more like a party than a workout. Time flies by as you enjoy the fast-paced music and follow the instructor. And because moves flow with the music, the exercise frequently varies in intensity, which helps you firm up and build muscle.

Look for Zumba classes at gyms, community centers, and Ys. Lots of times you don’t need a membership to pop into a class, which usually lasts about an hour. You can also find videos online. While Zumba is popular now, here are three other dance-based exercises that appeal to those with an ear for other types of music.

Ballroom. More of a straight-forward dance instruction, you’ll get a surprisingly good workout when twirling to old-time melodies. Ballroom dancing can develop your core and leg muscles while improving balance. No (or reluctant) partner? Don’t worry—classes often pair singles.

Vegas jazz. Ever wanted to be a Vegas showgirl? Or pretend to be one for a while? In a Vegas jazz class you’ll learn lots of ab-strengthening and posture-building moves set to tunes such as “Fever” by Peggy Lee. Then, you’ll tie all the moves together with your class becoming a chorus line. One, two, three…kick!

At-home boogie. You don’t need a formal class to enjoy music and sneak in a workout—just put on some tunes in your house when you’re all alone and move any way the music takes you. Maybe you can add a little salsa to your chore time. Or rock to the oldies in your living room. Try whatever beat makes your heart beat.

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