Exercise no longer a chore for busy mum-of-two

Angela as she is today.

As a busy mum-of-two, Angela Faulkner, from Buxton, knew that exercise was good for her, but going to the gym was more of a chore and not something that she enjoyed - until she found Zumba Fitness classes.

Since then Angela has dropped four dress sizes, her confidence has returned, she has made many new friends and she has even become a Zumba instructor.

Now Angela wants to inspire others to do the same and find the exercise which they enjoy…

‘Best exercise class I'd ever been too’

Before Angela found her love for Zumba.

"I never forget how hard it can be to start coming to a Zumba Fitness class. Is it a dance class? Is it a fitness class? In truth, it's both. Before my 'first time', I worried whether I would have the dance coordination, whether I would be able to keep up with the moves and the fitness. Would there be divas!?

"All I really wanted was someone to smile with me when I got it wrong so that I wouldn't make a total fool of myself. Thankfully, they did and it was the best exercise class I'd ever been too! It was fun and didn't feel like hard work at all.

"My main concern then became 'If I go for it will people think I think I can move like Beyoncé?' I mean crikey, I know I can't, but what if they think I think I can? Funnily enough I was still thinking this when I signed up to be a Zumba Fitness instructor a year later. I'm not the best dancer and I doubt I'm the fittest in the room, but I definitely have the enthusiasm for Zumba Fitness and it's the perfect mix for me. I love music and dancing.

‘I can be me, not someone's mum, wife or daughter’

"In class I can be me, just me, not me in reference to someone's mum, wife or daughter. I can forget everything and I can really let myself go and dance; not in that gentle 'better not make an ass of myself' way that you would in a club, better! I can be free to give it everything because it's also a fitness class! I can let loose, sweat and let my inner she-wolf out knowing everyone else is there to do the same. Granted, this is easier with a buddy that's laughing and howling along with you but the peeps in my class are really welcoming. There's no 'wrong' way to do it and we all have 'accidental solos'! We're all there because we enjoy a boogie.

"I started going to classes because a friend of mine suggested that the gym contact me and offer me a free 7-day pass. They did and I booked onto my first Zumba Fitness class. I wanted to lose a few pounds and get out of the house and, more importantly, my head! I was feeling tired and overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for two very young children. An 'exercise class' also allowed me to get out of the house without feeling guilty for leaving my husband in with them after he'd had a hard day at work. 'It's good for me. It's sanity saving!' I would say. Perfect.

"I loved it so much that, rather than it being a 'Tick, I've been to the gym this week. Well done me,' I wanted to go. My grin on returning from class, my social life and my enthusiasm for life got bigger and better and I don't think my mister was any more convinced than me that I was going for pure health reasons! Music began being played in the house again, real music not just nursery rhymes, and the kitchen stereo re-appeared. Do you know what? I was beginning to find myself again. I'd missed 'me' too. And I bought a hat - something my sister remembers as a marker for me returning from the fog and finding my confidence again.

‘I feel mentally and physically better’

"So, not only is Zumba Fitness immense fun during class, the feeling of joy and endorphin high lasts way beyond the end of a class too but, since most of us start going to an exercise class to lose weight or tone up, will it do that too? Yes, it really does work, even just going once a week as I was to begin with - and without dieting!

"I've still a bit of a tummy. I've still thighs that meet and I don't look like a totally toned 'n' honed beastie, but I feel so much better. Mentally and physically better. And it was all through doing something I genuinely enjoyed. Dancing. Exercise doesn't feel like a chore when you find something you love... it just took me ages to find it! In fact, I loved it so much that I become an instructor. If you haven't tried a Zumba Fitness class, grab a friend and give it a whirl."

Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/accidentalfitnessangelaszumba