The greatest party has arrived here in Hawai‘i. The Zumba® Fitness craze is exploding in popularity across the Islands. The Zumba program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms with easy-to-follow moves for all ages, shapes and sizes. This one-of-a-kind fitness program aims to get you hooked and make you want to workout.

Zumba fanatics achieve long-term benefits from this one-hour, calorie-burning, body-energizing workout and conditioning.

The routines feature interval training sessions, with movements designed to engage your body and mind. Fast and slow rhythms are combined with resistance training to burn fat and tone and sculpt your body. Add some Latin flavor and international zest into the mix and you’ve got a Zumba class!

In only a few short years, Zumba has spread like wildfire, positioning itself as the single most influential movement in the fitness industry.

Debbie Azama-Park and Genie Brown are just two of the approximately 300 instructors in Hawai‘i. You can find Zumba classes just about anywhere, including most fitness clubs.

As a long time fitness member, Debbie continues to exercise in her adult life. She has practiced yoga for 18 years, yet she wanted to add a cardio portion to her physical regimen. Then Zumba came into her life. “The music is key to working out with Zumba,” she says. “You cannot sit still when the music is going. The Cumbia music is my favorite of the Latin rhythms.”

Debbie knows that trying something new is always a little challenging, but she always says to never give up. She encourages, “If you love music, it will get easier and the music will keep you going.”

Genie Brown from Mililani has been teaching since early 2009. As a long-time fitness instructor, she confesses that she did not care for Zumba at first. She was not a dancer and sometimes she felt a little awkward. “Shaking around at an older age was not easy at first,” she says, “but I wanted to teach Zumba because I felt that teaching a fun class would be more inspiring. Participants just let loose and put their own attitude into their moves.”

Genie’s students benefit from class in a variety ways. For example, student Stephanie of Mililani lost 6 pounds in only a couple of months, and Jan found out that her blood pressure went down. Phil of Wahiawaˉ lost eight pounds, but the bigger benefit is that he can now fit into his pants again.

According to Genie, everyone should walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. In a normal 45-minute Zumba class, students take more than 5,000 steps. This is half of the daily recommended steps in just 45 minutes. Zumba also helps with flexibility, strength and back pain … not to mention it almost guarantees a good night’s sleep!

So if you want to enjoy a longer, healthier life, call Debbie Azama-Park at 625-1040 or Genie Brown at 531-3558 for a class. Active aging is here to stay and so are the Zumba parties.