Your First Zumba Class: What You Should Expect

We’ve already written about the health benefits of Zumba. Now its time to take the first step and answer the all important question: what should I expect at my first ever Zumba class? Our guide provides you with suggestions about what to bring, what to expect &  tips to make your first Zumba outing a successful one.

      1. What to bring?

  • Towel: Expect to sweat a lot, so keep it close by
  • Comfortable, movable clothes (shirt and track pants/shorts are fine)
  • Water bottle: to be sipped when you get that handy 30-60second break!
  • Sneakers/Shoes: Ones with decent ankle support and have a good grip as you will move a lot
  • A friend (if possible), so you feel less at ease and can motivate each other
You WILL sweat it out, so pack a towel & some water

      2. What to Expect

  • Duration: 60-75minutes per class including stretching to warm-ups and cooldown (ie: to ease your tired muscles)
  • Trained instructors: The instructor we spoke to was well qualified, and has been teaching Zumba for 5 years, so he was well versed to answer all questions in a professional manner.
  • A varied workout: For example, you may do 30 jumping jacks & then switch to push ups or squats based on the type of music which is pumping through the speakers.
  • The classes are priced from Rs. 400 per class, which is a great option if you’re not sure if you can commit to Zumba on a long-term basis, or you just want to ‘give it a try’
  • Equipment: These are usually provided by the class, so grab yourself a mat, some free weights (1kgX2 is recommended for beginners) and get going
Zumba classes frequently use 1kg dumbbells

         3. Our Advice

  • Go early on the first day: Introduce yourself to the instructor and/or a few other classmates. Chances are they are just as nervous as you are!
  • Watch the Instructor: Grab a spot in the middle or back of the room where you can clearly see the instructor, this lets you perform the moves correctly without the pressure of being in the front and making mistakes.
  • Move at your own pace:What you put into Zumba= What you can get out of it. The classes can be  pretty intense, so if you are struggling, don’t be afraid to slow down and take a quick water break.
  • Spot the regulars: If you lose the rhythm (and you probably will), check out the regulars; they are the ones who are hitting the moves with precision so you can always look to them to ensure that you’re getting the correct technique and getting the most of your Zumba workout.
  • Enjoy it: Although a few lot of us were struggling at the 45 minute mark, but we caught each others eye and laughed it off, determined to finish off the set
Zumba workout, Zumba Sri Lanka
Spot the regular members in case you lose rhythm

Bottom Line: Follow these suggestions and don’t stress: the point of Zumba is to relax & have a fun workout. For more information about Zumba classes in Sri Lanka, check out this official link.

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

Gym Etiquette: 10 Annoying People you Encounter at the Gym

1. Mr/Ms ‘Selfie’: If you don’t have to face this person at least once during your time at the gym, be grateful. This particular person struts around like a peacock and flexes their muscles (or abs), looking into the mirror as they take a selfie. This post is usually accompanied by hashtags such as #gymlife #workingout.

gym selfie

2. The smelly one: Arguably, the worst of them all, sometimes people just go to the gym and they smell… really bad. Its a big put off so here’s a tip:  spray on a little deodarant and make things a little easier for the rest of those who are working out.

3. The shouter: Grunting is quite common at the gym when you’re striving to finish a rep or a set. However, excessive grunting is just plain annoying. There is no need to bring attention to yourself.

4. The person who throws down weights: This particular individual is annoying for 3 reasons: they damage the equipment (usually dumbbells), they damage the floor & there is a remote possibility of someone accidentally getting hit by a stray dumbell.

5. The excessive sweater: Its perfectly normal to sweat during a gym session. However, if you are one of those who don’t wipe down after using the machine, learn. Certain gyms have a policy which requires you to bring a towel. Not only is it disgusting for the next person who uses the equipment, but excessive sweat makes benches and weights more slippery.

gym towel, gym etiquette, manners at the gym
Wipe down gym equipment after you’re done using it

6. Being untidy: Depending on what kind of gym you go to, some of them have gym lockers while some may only a bench/hanging rack dedicated to storing a gym bag. Please don’t annoy people by spreading your gear (towels, gloves, water bottle, spare  clothes etc) all over. Its a basic thing, but you store your items in a way that it doesn’t bother other gym members.

7. The person who uses their mobile phone: This person is usually quite loud on their cellphone, this ensures that everyone nearby can hear their conversation. To some extent you can get away with a short phone call, but try and minimize your volume so that it doesn’t disturb everyone else’s concentration. Same goes for those who pump up the volume on their phones/mp3 players: if we can hear you, its too loud for you and for us.

8. Mr. ‘I’m using this equipment for the last 20 minutes’ : Certain gym members like to hold on to gym equipment for excessive amounts of time. Usually coupled with no.5, this individual does one set on a say, the barbells, keeps his/her towel on the machine, takes off for 5 minutes and repeats this at process at least 3 times. When the gym is crowded, this is absolutely unacceptable as other individuals will be looking to use the machine. If this is you, be aware & be considerate next time. 

excess use of equipment
Don’t keep using gym equipment for too long, especially if its a popular machine

9. The one with unnecessary advice: This type of individual acts like a trainer, when in reality he’s just one of the crowd. Unless you are a professional trainer, you shouldn’t mess try and give advice to people if they don’t ask for it. This involves topics such as pre and post workout foods, best exercises for specific muscles and diet tips.

10. The excessive talker: This particular individual uses the gym to socialize. Depending on the person, use a little common sense: Short, one word answers (or the presence of earphones) usually indicates that people are trying to focus on their workout, some other people may like to engage in a conversation as human’s are social beings. If nobody wants to talk, don’t take it personally.

Which personality is the worst you’ve come across at the gym? Tell us in the comments and subscribe for more articles!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

HOW TO Get Rich: A Young Person’s Guide

In this week’s Youth themed topic, we take you on a beginners guide towards on building your wealth.

1. Make a plan: For some people, it’s an early retirement, for others it’s building an emergency fund. Take small steps & achieve it. For example, put at least 10% of your monthly income into a savings account if you want to create an emergency fund, just in case something comes up.

2. Self-control: Use a balance sheet. It’s quite simple: you balance the money which goes into your bank account vs your monthly expenses. Make a budget for transport, food and drink, rent & utilities, mobiles & internet. If you have extra funds, allocate a small portion of your earnings to a ‘spending fund’ which lets you go out and enjoy life… in moderation.

financial management, money, savings plan, investment, investing
Start saving as soon as possible

3. Invest wisely: Overall, the country is doing well. The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has been improving gradually, so you should consider investing a small amount into stocks which are ‘strong’, and over time reinvest, or take the safer route and look at preference shares or other investment options. However a word of caution: wealth takes time to build. If you lose money beyond a certain amount, walk away.

4. Improve your financial awareness: If you are not financially sound, now’s the time to start learning. The more you know about finances, the fewer mistakes you will make. Start by tracking where every Rupee goes, and then move on to the next stage. The knowledge learned and your personal experiences will allow you to generate more wealth and help you reach your financial goals faster. Some good books to start with include ‘The Investment Answer,’ ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, ‘I Will Teach You to be Rich’, ‘The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke’ and ‘Think & Grow Rich’

think and grow richrich dad poor dad

(Two great books to improve your financial awareness. Photo credits: Amazon)

5. Pay bills on time & skip the credit card: This is a favorite of mine, and sounds pretty obvious. However, a lot of people don’t pay their bills on time-sometimes they forget, or just don’t have a lot of funds. Bottom line is that companies will dislike and possibly slap you with a fine if you don’t pay bills on consistently, on time. On top of that, say no to credit cards. It’s a bad way to get yourself into debt by purchasing things which you don’t need with the money you don’t have.

Pay bills on time
Seriously, dont forget to pay your phone bill

6. Invest in what you need, not what you want: Speaking of needs, invest in the things which are important. As a young person, this may be a bank loan for your education, a car, stocks & bonds, investment plans, life insurance or a house. It makes less sense to overindulge in food and entertainment as they are things which you ‘want’, but are not necessary essential items which you ‘need’.

7. Stay Healthy: Sounds obvious but it makes a lot of sense to stay healthy. If you were to fall ill or get into an accident then it would cost you a fair bit on hospitalization cover and possibly lost wages. Take time to exercise and stay fit, because not only is it a good habit, but guarding your health is one of the smartest things you can ever do.

What do you think of these ideas? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

5 Signs You Need a Rest Day

We all know that working out is a necessary part towards good health. However, you need to listen to your body. By this, there are certain signs which indicate that you should not workout, but rest instead.

1) Illness & Injury: Most people can decide if they are too sick or injured to go to the gym. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Depending on your workout intensity, working too hard can weaken your immune system, or aggravate an existing injury. At the end of the day, sometimes it’s not worth pushing the limit when you’re less than 100%.

2) Trouble Sleeping: More often than not, if you have a good workout session, you’re more likely to fall asleep quite easily as the body needs to rest. However, if you wake up in the middle of the night and keep tossing and turning, you are probably overworked and need to rest.

tired, burn out, burn out
How badly do you need to rest?

3) Lacking Motivation: Come on, you’ve used this excuse at least once. It’s OK to skip the gym on occasion. However, if you lose focus and become disengaged, there’s a good chance that you’re overexerting yourself. Take baby steps: sleep better (7-8 hours in general), eat proper food to fuel your body and get inspired to go.

4) Low Energy: Not just on one day, but if it feels like you’re tired the entire day, and doing basic tasks such as walking to the bathroom become tedious, listen to your body and get some rest.

5) Muscle Soreness: This is particularly common among those who start off exercising at an intense pace, but find out the following morning that their muscles are sore and need time to recover. This can also happen if you are going back to exercise after some time off. Learn your lesson and go at a slow/moderate intensity next time, until then take that rest day.

Do you have any more reasons to add? Tell us in the comments, and click on the ‘subscribe’ button for more great content!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

6 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Rainy Season

It’s that time of year again, when it’s constantly raining. Make it a point to stay healthy during this Christmas season by following these tips:

1. Keep your rainy weather gear ready

For most people, it would mean an umbrella. However, if you don’t have access to a car, a raincoat/waterproof jacket is something you should look into. The last thing you’d want to do is to start (or finish) your day soaked, as you could also end up catching a cold as well.

Image Credit: TravelUmbrellas

2. Watch out for mosquito’s

During the rainy season, mosquito’s breed more due to plentiful amounts of stagnant water. Keep a close eye on water containers and replace them often. Given the fact that mosquito borne diseases like Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya have caused many people to fall ill, its important to stay safe

3. Exercise

Exercising often allows you to get rid of the cold before the situation is exacerbated. This is because frequent exercise stimulates blood flow, thereby boosting our immune system. Having trouble exercising? Check out our 5 step guide to get started.

4 Eat Right

It’s always a good idea to drink hot beverages, especially green teas (detoxifying agent), or garlic/ginger tea as well as soups. Furthermore, try to eat hot foods as much as possible.

Image Credit: Dreamstime

5 Stay hydrated

It sounds obvious, but its worth repeating: stay hydrated. Make it a point to drink 2-3 litres of water on a daily basis. This is because water ensures that your body stays ‘fresh’ and water keeps you healthy.

6 Sleep

If you are getting less than 6  hours of sleep, you are more likely to be at risk of catching a cold. This is because your body does need to rest, so stay healthy and spend a little more time sleeping!

Now that you’re sorted, take a look at our checklist to ensure that your vehicle runs longer, and is ready to handle the wet roads.

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.