Tuesday 11 May 2021
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Zumba becomes ‘Ombazu’


When one has such a good workout, it clears everything up mentally, physically and prepares you for a good day ahead with a positive attitude. While the masses of the world deem the gym to be the best place to keep healthy, others have defined keeping fit in a more fun and self-serving manner. After all, exercising is most effective when it is comfortable and fun.
Zumba is a dance fitness program that started in Colombia and has now been replicated by many nations including Namibia. In its ancient origin, the dance comes in styles of cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, tango and other.
It is not as popular in Namibia but it is slowly but surely becoming the new route for many women and men who wish to have extra fun while pursuing their fitness goals.
If you are the type who wants to try out something new outside the gym and still be able to keep your body goals, then knock on the doors of a Zumba class.
Pulse Health and Wellness
Studio in Windhoek has localised the dances to the Namibian specification and appeal. Instead of doing Zumba, the same dance has acquired local name – Ombazu. Ombazu is a Himba term that means ‘culture.’
“Zumba is very challenging because it incorporates elements that are all foreign to many Namibians. They are new to people and thus they cannot always relate to these dances,” said Instructor Taimi Itembu who has been exercising her passion for the past six years.
It is not just a dance but more of a party where nobody judges your ability to dance. With Ombazu, Taima has tailored the dances to African songs for the sessions. “With African music, whether it is from Nigeria, South Africa or Namibia, the people can relate and it’s easy to dance to.”
As an instructor, their task is to choreograph a dance routine to every song to make workouts fun. It is equally up to them to monitor the client’s progress in reference to their body goals. “With Zumba, weight loss is not the same as being in the gym. With Zumba, it all depends on individual intensity. Like during the sessions, I would give a 170 percent in order to get 80 percent from the clients. So it is partly up to the client and the pace at which they push themselves.”
“While Zumba, or rather ‘Ombazu’ is more of a cardio exercise, the dance classes are fun, energetic and make you feel amazing. Besides the cardio workout, Zumba is very interactive and it is a social playground. When you are trying to have a lifestyle change, it is best to do Zumba. And ultimately, it is good for a full body toning.”
Zumba mainly targets the abs, thighs, arms, and other muscles throughout the body. Because Zumba offers different options, Taimi clears that it is safe for all ages, meaning that anyone from age 1 to 100 can participate in this form of aerobic exercise. At least some of the classes are specifically aimed at elderly people, to help them build strength, improve motion and posture, while you socialize.
In addition to the Namibian    tailored Zumba, Taimi has     observed that the dance classes allow women to form a little community where they are free and get to socialise.
According to Zumba beginner Laura Nangolo, she is now comfortable with her Zumba lesson as opposed to the days when she used to go to the gym. “I always felt uncomfortable at the gym because the guys would just be there standing and staring at every move you did. On the other hand, the men at the gym always look at women like we need help. So it is better to be around women and become a little family sweating together and having good conversations,’ she said.
Located in Windhoek’s 41 Marconi Street in Southern Industrial area, Pulse group training schedule runs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday after working hours on weekdays and at 09h00 on Saturdays. Classes incorporate Ombazu, Hiitcamp, Long ‘n learn Yoga, Pilates and Restoration Stretch. Classes are typically an hour long.
The philosophy of Pulse is that they move enough, eat well, and allow themselves some fun and play. They create a personal health culture that they value deeply.

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