Here are 5 tips to help avoid injury:
1. Use the correct shoes. No running shoes! You have lots of turning action in Zumba, and running shoes work to prevent turning or rotating by having tread in only forward motion or one direction. Cross-training shoes, dance shoes, Zumba shoes, or shoes with little tread are best. Ensure you have some support, though.
2. Drink lots of water. This will help prevent dehydration. Always drink extra water when you work out. Add a couple extra glasses to the 8 glasses a day.
3. Engage your abs by pulling your belly button into your back. Zumba is a great abdominal workout as well as full body workout. However, be sure your back is protected by engaging your abs. Otherwise, those quick hip circles or your fabulous samba could end up hurting your back in the long run.
4. Wear loose clothing, so you aren’t restricted in class. If your clothes restrict you, you can risk pulling muscles if you push too hard to get into a move or stretch to move your clothes. So, moveable clothing is a must.
5. Don’t overdo it. Go at your own pace and try not to compare yourself with others. Your pace is the best pace as long as you are challenging yourself at the same time. You’ll still burn hundreds of calories. 🙂
Here is an article that also has some good tips: Zumba Away, but Avoid Injury from the New York Times.
Have fun in your Zumba classes, but remember you are doing this to improve your health and fitness. So, be aware of your body and be careful if you feel any pain. Follow these tips, and as long as your instructor has a good warm-up and cool-down included in the class, you should be able to enjoy many, many more energetic Zumba classes!