Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Let's Give L💗VE Within the ZIN™ Community

The ZIN (Zumba™ Instructor Network) community is a huge international community of Zumba™ Fitness Instructors. As instructors, we come in all different sizes, shapes, colors, and ethnicities. We all go to the same Zumba™ Fitness Basic 1 fundamental training to learn the foundation of the business. However, the way we deliver our individual classes are so different, and that is a beautiful thing to experience. We are ALL different and that IS OK! We are sprinkled with authenticity, various levels of fitness, differentiating personal styles and a whole lot of flair. There are no two classes that are exactly alike; I dare you to try and find one!  

According to Zumba.com, there are Zumba™ Fitness classes offered in 180 different countries, across 200,000 locations that provide 15 MILLION people with Zumba™ Fitness classes. And  by classes, I mean 60 minutes of pure sweaty, awesome fun, fitness and dancing set to Latin based music surrounded by like-minded fitness people who also happen to be your friends and Zumba™ family

In addition to all of this awesomeness among our various styles and classes, there is an entire community of Zumba™ Fitness instructors most likely right in your own backyard or down the street sharing that same  Zumba™ LOVE that you feel in your heart. It is something that we ALL talk about {
Zumba™ LOVE}. As instructors we lovingly give of ourselves and our entire being every time we step out on the dance floor for everyone in the room. 

It is also important to "give love in your own community". Let's take time this Thanksgiving season to think about how we can support each other. No gesture is too small, but even the smallest gesture can have a huge impact for someone that needs it the most. Let's carry the spark, spread the 💗 and truly embrace what it means to represent a brand based on acceptance, giving and love. Let's
Promote diversity, various styles and celebrate our differencesEven if you haven't done it before, try at least one of the things outlined below this week, and see what happens. Hopefully it will be amaZINing.

1. If you work at the same gym, recommend other instructor's classes to your Zumba™ peeps. There are enough people and classes to go around for everyone.
2. Send an instructor a personal note on Facebook or Instagram to say hello. Start to build unexpected connections.

3. When your schedule permits, drop into a fellow ZIN's class as a participant. Support them and their style.
4. Ask another ZIN you don't normally connect with to come to one of your classes to co-teach or lead a song or two. 
5. Attend at least (1) event that is not your own every few months.
6. Help promote and share events of fellow instructors on your social platform. 
7. Like and follow other instructor's social presence.
8. Smile, say hello, and take 2 minutes to make a personal connection when you see a fellow ZIN in passing or at classes, or events. 
9.Collaborate! Collaborate! Collaborate! Wherever, and whenever you can. Wonderful things happen when passionate people come together. 
10.Always, always, always, always say something nice, or DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL. Something really amaZINing will happen when you decide to be authentically and apologetically YOU while remaining positive and embracing inclusion and acceptance of others.

Let's spread the Z💗
~The Z Beat Team

Friday, November 16, 2018

Promoting Your Zumba™ Fitness Events
with Zumba™ Instructor Lizz Larrauri

Zumba™ Fitness Instructor Let me tell you one secret before we get started… Zumba™ instructors really like to party.  I have a passion for promoting events, and want to share with you how to promote your events in a series of articles through TheZBeat. Let’s start by introducing myself. When I went to my first Zumba™ class, I did not know there were Zumba™ events or Master classes. After teaching for a couple months, I went to my first Zumba™ event.  It was a huge local Zumba™ Marathon that lasted three hours.
I danced nonstop and had SO MUCH FUN. Still, it was not my priority to start organizing events (it is still not my priority at the present time either to host events, just something I am passionate about). I just loved teaching and was trying to work on my own classes. During my first year of teaching, I opened my Zumba™ Fitness page and started promoting myself on Facebook. I did it just for fun, since I always loved working with technology and taking pictures.  Soon I opened my Zumba™ Fitness Instagram account and linked it to my Facebook page.

One day a class participant asked me  to help her organize a fundraiser for her daughter's dance team, and that is how it all started.  My first Zumbathon was not very successful. We only had around ten people plus the instructors.  I realized at that moment that we needed to organize with more time in advance and more involvement in the community. It was a good learning experience.  During that same year, I hosted events in honor of Party in Pink™ and Toys For Tots™ and then moving forward I hosted and co hosted a variety of events with International presenters.
"The key for success on these events is to promote within the community and involve local instructors".
In reality, not every instructor in interested in hosting events. Zumba™ is a large community and if everyone hosted events it would be chaotic. However, it is a good idea to learn about event planning and technology and how to apply those skills to promote our own classes.  One of the tips given at the Pro skill training is "To always treat your classes as a master class". By that, it means that all your classes are special and all the people that come to your classes deserve the best you can give in an hour.

Tips to promote yourself and your classes:
  1. Open your personal Zumba™ Fitness Facebook page and keep it up-to-date.
  2. Open an Instagram account and link it to your Facebook page.  Work on your hashtags. #zumba #zumbawear #location #etc.
  3. Take pictures of your class and yourself.  Selfies are accepted (we will talk about that in the future). 
  4. Post videos of your classes or yourself dancing.
  5. Make your Facebook page and Instagram about you and your class.  Focus on promoting your product (yourself).  
  6. Follow local ZINs so that they will follow you (follow their accounts, not around town).
  7. Stay active in social media.  One post a day will be ok. 
  8. Keep you Zumba™ web page up to date (verified classes, recent pictures, etc 
  9. Invest in business cards.  Some folks do not use social media, but they may be able to email you  
  10. Always greet people with a smile. Your smile is the best presentation card.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Teaching a ZumbaFitness Class with Two Left Feet 

Now you may think you know what I am about to say because of the title of this article if you are thinking of the old adage, "She has two left feet". However, I am speaking the truth. I actually taught class with #twoleftfeet. Keep Reading....

A few months ago I was in my typical morning rush to pack my car with everything that I needed for the day ahead. Computer; check! Pocketbook; check! Lunch; check! And now, my mental roll-call for what I needed for the gym night ahead. 

Here was my list, and I am NOT even kidding:
  • Cycle shoes
  • Zumba shoes (dance shoes)
  • Shoes to teach ZumbaToning class (cross over shoes) 
  • Two full gym outfits (leggings, shirt, bra, socks and undies) for three classes because two of the classes were back-to-back and didn't have to time to change 
  • Auxiliary wires for the stereo (I always have 2 in case one decides to stop working) 
  • A bag full of batteries for my mic (AA and AAA)
  • Mouth covers (2 sizes) for the mics
  • iPhone/iTouch and back up iPad as music sources 
  • My own speakers! (When I know the speakers at the gym are broken, I carry my own)
  • Water bottles
  • Snacks
  • Sweatshirt for after class
So each "class day" I go through the same routine of gathering my clothes, shoes, and bag-o-goodies for the car. In many cases, I leave things in the car to ensure they are always there. I try to do this for my shoes, but after my last class, I drive home and walk in the house with my shoes on. On this particular day, I grabbed my Zumba shoes which happen to be black Ryka dance shoes. I also happen to have THREE pairs of the same shoes because I rotate them in and out of use to ensure that my feet stay comfy. I was SO proud of myself for getting everything into the car AND getting to work on time that morning. Come to find out at the 11th hour, I grabbed TWO LEFT SHOES. 

I taught an HOUR ZumbaFitness class with TWO LEFT SHOES ON. No Joke! And it is a lot harder that it would seem. At first I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. I thought to myself there was no way I couldn't tell the difference between right and left shoes. I actually sat and looked at the shoes for a while.

After I determined that I did truly have TWO LEFT FEET, I had three choices to make:
1. Cancel the class (Which I would NEVER DO)
2. Teach barefoot (Would be hard considering I have an injured LEFT foot and leg)
3. Teach with TWO LEFT FEET.

I chose what was behind Door #3. The #twoleftfeet dance option which was very challenging. For starters; I could not stop laughing. I was also WAY off balance literally tripping. In the end, it made for a good laugh and a good story. In fact when my hair band broke the other night, someone shouted out "At least you have both shoes tonight!"

Monday, November 12, 2018

#MondayMotivation: You Are Enough!
Zumba™️ Fitness Instructor Megan Hernandez Talks About Self Acceptance After Weight Loss

Zumba™️ Fitness Instructor 
People begin a weight loss journey for a number of reasons. The end goal might be the same but the reasons are vast. People may lose weight for health related issues, social pressures, or to conform to a specific image.  Other people may suffer from different body dystrophin, OCD that they are trying to control, or some people are just tired of feeling “fat”. 

Whatever the initiation, it’s the journey that turns those breaking points into fuel. People use this fuel to overhaul their lifestyles. Some people start slow and build up a tolerance to their lifestyle transitions, and others quit cold turkey.  Changes in lifestyle can vary from eating habits, exercise or lifestyle choices. Some new eating habits could include low carb diets, no dairy, vegan, no eating after 6pm, fasting or no sugar...the list is endless. Exercise also has an infinite range of choices. Exercise habits can range from just getting up and walking for 10 minutes to running a marathon or joining that Zumba™️ Fitness class that was always watched with envy and curiosity through the gym’s glass window. Those who have health related issues may choose to stop smoking, stop binge eating, or become strict about their diet.  No matter what, the end result causes a transformation where the inches melt away and the true YOU is finally on the surface. Or is it? Let’s ask the mirror on the wall.

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? There is no denying that losing weight changes your quality of life; your clothes fit better, you feel more confident, people may notice your healthy habits and become drawn to you and want to know all of your secrets.  But under all of those compliments, Instagram filters, and workout pants is a deeper side to losing weight that most people don’t like to talk about. Sometimes losing weight is only part of the journey. Weight loss sometimes comes with loose and hanging skin, stretch marks and cellulite that do not disappear as you had hoped.  

Sometimes losing the weight on the scale, and inches on your waist doesn’t match what you see in the mirror. Read these statements below from people around the globe. Does any of this sound familiar?

“I can’t wrap my head around the new me in the mirror. I still fear the new me.  I still see myself as the 310 pound girl.”

“Now I look at specific areas of my body, my back fat & thicker inner thighs..”

“When I look in the mirror I still see a 292 pound single woman that is insecure and will always be alone.  I want to see my success when I look in the mirror but, I just see how much weight I still need to lose and that I am not healthy enough.”

“I still see my old, 285lb body hanging on my new body.  I can tell I am smaller than I was but I can also see all the skin and flab that hangs from my entire body, especially my arms, legs, and stomach and it is hard to see past it and believe I am worth it.”

Reflecting on my own personal journey, I actually find myself being more critical of myself than before my weight loss. I used to be oblivious that my weight had gotten to the point it had. I, along with so many others, was too busy taking care of my children and home that I had forgotten to take care of myself.  It wasn’t until I was sitting on a beach on vacation that I realized how much bigger I was than those around me. My step daughter introduced me to Zumba®️ Fitness shortly after my epiphany, and it changed my life.  I lost around 50lbs and quit smoking after 29 years. My success paved the way for me to become a Zumba®️ Fitness instructor and help others on their journeys to a healthier life.

Although I lost the weight, I still have stretch marks and unforgiving cellulite that plagues my body.  I still have insecurities, but it doesn't stop me from taking everyday just one step at a time. I still have days where I look in the mirror and feel like I have accomplished nothing, or I step on the scale and feel like I am going backwards. During these moments it is pivotal that I remind myself, as should you, that every step backwards will just take me two step forward in the future.

As women, and men, we tend to look outward for acceptance and verification that we are beautiful or enough.  A mirror can only reflect what you want it to. It doesn’t have a voice of its own. The next time you stand in front of the mirror celebrate out loud your success and shower yourself with body positive compliments.  Your voice will start to translate inward. Slay the negativity.
Tell yourself that you are beautiful and you are ENOUGH.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ZumbaMegz

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fit4U Brand Manager Lisa Schwarz Asks,
"To Lift, or Not to Lift" for #FitnessFriday

The benefits of weight training for women are scientifically proven! Here are 9 reasons why ladies need to lift, according to “Fitness Magazine”.

You'll Blast More Fat: Forget that "fat-burning" zone on the treadmill. According to a new study published in Obesity, strength training is better at helping people lose belly fat compared with cardio. While aerobic exercise burns both fat and muscle, weight lifting burns almost exclusively fat.
Les Mills Fitness InstructorYou'll Burn More Calories: Just sitting on your butt reading this, you're burning calories—if you lift weights, that is. Your muscle mass largely determines your resting metabolic rate—how many calories you burn by just living and breathing. "The more muscle you have, the more energy your body expends," says women's strength expert Holly Perkins, CSCS. "Everything you do, from brushing your teeth, to sleeping, to checking Instagram, you'll be burning more calories," Perkins says.

You'll Be Stronger Mentally: "Strength has a funny way of bleeding into all areas of your life, in the gym and out," says Jen Sinkler, an Olympic lifting coach, kettle bell instructor, and author of Lift Weights Faster. By constantly challenging yourself to do things you never thought possible, your confidence grows. "Weight lifting empowers you," she says.

You'll Boost Your Flexibility: Ignore that super ripped guy fumbling in yoga class for just a minute. Researchers from the University of North Dakota pitted static stretches against strength-training exercises and found that full-range resistance training workouts can improve flexibility just as well as your typical static stretching regimen. The key word here is "full-range," notes Sinkler. If you can't complete the full motion—going all the way up and all the way down—with a given weight, you may need to use a lighter dumbbell and work up to it.

You'll Strengthen Your Bones: Weight lifting doesn't only train your muscles; it trains your bones. When you perform a curl, for example, your muscles tug on your arm's bones. The cells within those bones react by creating new bone cells, Perkins says. Your bones become stronger and denser.

You'll Drop a Size: Strength training has a reputation of making women "bulk up." But it's not true. The more your weight comes from muscle, rather than fat, the smaller you'll be. "In fact, body weight often goes up with strength training, but dress size goes down one or two sizes," Perkins says. Plus, it's really, really difficult to get body-builder huge. "Women produce about 5 to 10 percent the amount of testosterone men do, limiting our muscle-building potential when compared to men," Sinkler says. To seriously gain size, you'd pretty much need to live in the weight room.

You'll Ease Joint Pain: Go ahead, squat low. Your knees will thank you. "Proper strength training is the solution to joint issues," Perkins says. "Stronger muscles better hold your joints in position, so you won't need to worry about your knee flaring up during your next run."

You'll Be a Better Runner: Stronger muscles mean better performance—period. Your core will be better able to support your body's weight and maintain ideal form during other exercises (like running), plus your arms and legs will be more powerful. What's more, since strength training increases the number and size of calorie-torching muscle fibers fueling your performance, strength training could actually help you burn more calories during your cardio workouts Perkins says.

You'll Have a Healthier Heart: Cardiovascular exercise isn't the only exercise that's, well, cardiovascular. In fact, strength training can up your heart health, too. In one Appalachian State University study, people who performed 45 minutes of moderate-intensity resistance exercise lowered their blood pressure by 20 percent. That's as good as—if not better than—the benefits associated with most blood pressure pills.

Stay fit, stay healthy, and stay with me!

Kia Kaha!  Lisa 😁
Twitter: Fit4Urocks

Source: Fitnessmagazine.com; 9 Reasons Every Woman Should Lift Weights; K. Aleisha Fetters

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Jason McLaurin Zumba™ Fitness Instructor and Owner of Muevelo DMV, LLC on Building A Fitness Brand

Zumba™ Fitness Instructor
When The Z Beat asked me to share tips and tricks on “Social media and Building a brand" related topics, I said “Sounds good “.  Then I asked myself, "What the heck does that mean”? 

Thinking more about it, the real question is what would a person want to know? I’m not an expert but as a Zumba Fitness instructor and studio owner, I’ve had to heartily use social media for promotion which required working hard on branding our studio. Being a Zumba Fitness instructor is rewarding, but it will disappoint you if you are not honest with yourself and your decision to be public about your passion. 

I think with these ZBeat segments I’ll first task the readers to ask themselves some questions:
  • Who is your target audience? 
  • What makes you unique? 
  • What are your known limitations? 
  • Do you want to mix your “real” life with “Zumba Fitness life”? 
  • Do you want to be "Zumba Fitness" famous? 
  • Do you want to be locally "Zumba Fitness" famous? 
  • Do you want to be an individual, a brand or a movement? 
  • What time do you have to devote to it? 
And answer these question regarding branding: 
  • Who inspires you? 
  • Where do you want to be in five years? 
  • Who do you want to be your core base ? 
  • Is the brand you want to be already taken? 
  • Would you be better off just being yourself? 
  • What tolerance do you have for rejection and failure? 
  • What are your insecurities? 
  • Can you handle dealing with the insecurity of others? 
The answer to these question dictates your social media need. Your actions over time will reveal your true answers so please be honest with yourself from day one

Regardless of your answers I’ll give you social media lesson one: You should begin with creating social media pages for your "Zumba Fitness” brand. For Facebook, create a page not a separate account, and for Instagram create a separate account and merge them. Decide whether you want to pick a nickname or your real name. Once you post a picture in a class or at an event you will receive 30 friend requests in 1 day, so choosing the right strategy from the start will help you navigate through your social media options.

Social media is a gift and a curse. Putting yourself “out there” will bring both positive and negative aspects to your Zumba Fitness world. There will be people who only know you by your “Zumba self” on stage and not know the real you, but will complain and judge anyway. On the plus side, and most importantly, you will add excitement to the local community, find and inspire people who will follow your pages, join your classes and be lifetime friends

The main takeaway to consider is how you handle social media and building a brand, and whether or not the exposure is worth it depends on how you truthfully answer the questions above.

Until next time...

Facebook: Facebook.com/muevelodmv
 Instagram: Mcjazzjay