Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cheating on Zumba (aka, crosstraining) Part I

It's true - I've been cheating. In Part I of this two part-series, let me tell you why I run and how it helps improve my Zumba practice, too.

It's no secret that running has tons of health benefits, including reducing stress and making you happier. It's also an efficient way to burn calories when compared to biking or stair-stepping - on average, you burn about 100 calories per mile. I'm not naturally inclined to run and picked it up later in my 20s. Currently, I'm training for a half marathon in October... and let's be honest, "training" means running regularly and working my way up to being able to complete the half marathon injury-free. I don't have a master training plan or an aggressive time goal.  (For helpful training advice, check out this post from Runs for Cookies.)

How does this help my Zumba-ing, you ask?
  • Endurance. When I'm not running, I find myself getting winded or tired 45 minutes into my classes. When I am running, I'm still ready to go when it's time to cool down.

  • Confidence. Running makes me feel fit, almost instantly. This translates into better teaching in class - I can do the moves bigger and better knowing I'm physically prepared.

  • Time to think (and choreograph). The biggest gift running gives is time for you to think and relax. When I'm teaching, I have to focus - if my mind wanders I screw up the moves! Plus, when I'm running I listen to new songs and start making up the moves.
What connections do you draw between running and Zumba?

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