Zumba Fitness: Classes, Wii or Xbox 360?

As I'm sure you've heard by now, Zumba is the fitness trend sweeping the world right now! Chances are, if you haven't been to a Zumba class, you will know someone who has. You may have even read about it in one of my earlier blog posts, here.

Typically the classes take place in licensed gyms, church rooms, schools, community centres... almost anywhere. Some of you may have also spotted the Zumba Fitness games on the shelves of most game stores and wondered how they measure up to the classes. 

Hopefully reading this will answer some of your questions about the classes and the games and which might be ideal for you. 


Classes

Cost: Often included with gym membership or (for those of you in the UK) around £4.50 in community centres that hold Zumba classes 

The good:
The party atmosphere making it feel like dancing in a club rather than working out. Plus having other people to workout with helps to motivate you. The music in class may be a mix of Zumba classes and chart music depending on your instructor.

The bad:
Classes are typically between 45-60 minutes long and can be really intense, which could be a little too much to start with for anyone with injuries or anyone that feel they are particularly unfit and wish to ease themselves gradually into a workout plan. If this is the case, then the games may be the perfect way to 'train' yourself ready for the classes.

Wii Games
Cost: around £20 for a new copy of Zumba Fitness (1) and £25 for Zumba Fitness 2 - Both can be even cheaper if you look for pre-owned copies in game stores or online.

The good:
Work out in the comfort of your own home! It's cheaper to buy a Wii and the game than it is to buy the Xbox 360 Kinect and the game. For the first Zumba game, the 'classes' can be either 20 minutes or 45 minutes long and there is a Zumbathon mode that you can eventually unlock to play all of the tracks in a row. With Zumba 2, there are 20, 45 and 60 minute long class options. Both versions of the game have a tutorial mode to demonstrate some of the basic steps. During play through, unlocking new venues and classes can be pretty motivating! The instructors on the game will give you feedback and tell you what you are (or are not) doing well. As for the music, it's packed with upbeat Zumba tracks to get you moving, you could use YouTube to get an idea of what the music is like. 

The bad:
You will have to wear the waist strap that comes with the game to hold the Wii remote so that it can pick up your movements. Sometimes, the motion sensor fails to pick up your movements, especially arm movements, but this just means you will lose a few points and it's no big deal.

Xbox 360 Games 
Cost: Around £27 for a new copy of Zumba Fitness (1) and around £27 for a new copy of Zumba Fitness Rush (The name of the Xbox 360 version of Zumba 2 for Wii)

The good:
Almost completely the same as the Wii versions, although Zumba Fitness Rush has some additional bonus content over the Wii's Zumba 2! There's no bulky remote to strap to you so you can dance freely like you would in a class but in the comfort of your own home! The Kinect is also much more responsive than the Wii remote. For the gamers amongst you, there are also achievements to unlock! There's nothing like GamerScore for motivation. The picture is also sharper than that of the Wii's but as this is a workout game and not a first person shooter type game, the graphics are not really the main issue. 

The bad:
You may need slightly more room to play Zumba on the Xbox 360 than you would the Wii, but this is only for the sake of letting the sensor pick your movements up when a track requires a travel.  If you don't already have an Xbox 360, buying an Xbox 360 with Kinect and the games is costly! Perhaps more so than attending classes or buying the Wii versions. 

In the case of Zumba 1, the menu system on the Kinect is really annoying, it's the only real downside to the game but it can tick you off using a slider to flip through the menu. Thankfully, this system has gone on Zumba Fitness Rush.

Overall: 
If you're used to working out, or are already a member of a gym then classes could be for you. If you're like I used to be and feel unsure about working out in public, then try the games. Potentially you could burn just as many calories providing you motivate yourself to really put the effort in and it's just as fun, only without other people around you (which is could be a good or bad thing depending on your preference). The Xbox version is ideal if there is already and Xbox 360 in the house and it's more like the classes themselves as there's no remote required. The Wii version however, is ideal if you want a home workout but don't already have a gaming console or maybe already have a Wii, just be warned that you will need to wear the game's waist strap and sometimes the remote won't pick up your moves. 





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