In a bid to keep fit and healthy, Afghan women are turning to Zumba – a high energy dance and aerobics fitness program.
Zumba classes are typically about an hour long and are taught by instructors licensed by Zumba Fitness, LLC. Participants say it keeps them slim, healthy and happy.
The high energy fitness program was created by a Colombian dancer and choreographer and has over the past few years taken the world by storm. Approximately 15 million people take weekly Zumba classes in over 200,000 locations across 180 countries.
“It’s been almost two months since Zumba came to Afghanistan and it has attracted many people. I hope Zumba spreads all over the country. When someone (new) comes to this sport we get encouraged, as this brings three or four other people from the family to this sport,” said Zumba trainer Atina Mohammadi.
“I would like the government to help provide security for those who do this sport. I also ask families not to ignore this sport. As I know when people get sick in Afghan society, they go to the doctor and then the doctor advises them to exercise. My suggestion is to come and exercise so you avoid sickness. This sport is the best for your health,” she added.
Meanwhile, a number of Afghan girls who practice Zumba say that the sport also helps prevent or overcome depression.
“Although it is for body fitness, it is also relaxing for the mind. So whenever someone wants to relax his or her mind, he or she should do Zumba as this is the best way to relax your mind,” said Muzhgan Ahmadi, an 18-year old Kabul resident.
“When I come to this gym I feel afraid but I ignore all these problems and fears and want to stand up and carry on with this sport,” she said.