Zumba is one of my favorite forms of exercise, for many reasons: it’s a great high-intensity cardio workout, but you can modify all of its routines to suit your energy level and ability; it supports a welcoming group environment; the music its routines are choreographed to is really fun; and you don’t even realize how many calories you’re burning (over 500 an hour!) because you’re having such a great time dancing. HRD employee Ivana McGrail also happens to be a Zumba enthusiast, and she was kind enough to offer free classes to Boston employees during the Friday lunch hour in the Ashburton Café conference room. A love of the music, the desire to show people that you can have fun with exercise, and the opportunity to meet other State employee/co-workers and encourage them to exercise for better health inspired her to share her Zumba expertise.
A dedicated group of employees participated in these weekly classes, and many of them saw the benefits of an hour of dance aerobics, including Wellness Champion Annette Powell:
My name is Annette, I work at One Ashburton Place, in Boston. I have committed to the WellMASS Wellness Program from the start. I am always in suspense wondering, what’s next with the Wellness Team. This July I had a great experience learning the basics of Zumba one day a week for 6 weeks with 15 other State employees. I enjoyed being able to move, twist, jump, stretch, and dance during my lunchtime, under the instruction of Ivana McGrail. Since my enrollment with the WellMASS Wellness Program and my participation in several of its activities, I have dropped two dress sizes and I am looking forward to the next challenge.
GIC employee Liz Layton was also a fan of Ivana’s Zumba classes:
Even though I have two left feet, Ivana always got us all moving in time to the rhythm – salsa, samba, Afro-Brazilian – and really energized for the rest of the day.
Group workouts are a challenging, social, and fun way to get your recommended 45-60 minutes of exercise in each day, while making new friends in the process. If Zumba or another form of group exercise is offered at or near your worksite, I encourage you to sign up for a class or two. Ivana is also willing to bring Zumba to your worksite; if you are interested, work in Boston, and have a suitable venue for a lunchtime class, please let me know.