To Zumba or Not to Zumba

I started doing Zumba last January to shed off unwanted pounds that I gained during the holiday season. Every afternoon, I would watch my favorite Zumba video on YouTube and follow the steps until I was all sweaty. I thought that the more I perspire and the more I get exhausted, the better it would be for me. I was wrong! Ten days ago while I was doing Zumba, I felt something odd. My heart started beating really fast. I actually felt my heart thudding against my chest. I got scared!

Zumba workout (photo credit: 123rf)

I had no idea how my heart rate would return to normal because this was the first time it happened. I even thought that I was suffering from a heart attack. I walked slowly, drank water, sat down and called up people on the phone in my desperate endeavor to find a solution to my racing heart. I called up my cardiologist’s office, but my doctor already left, so his secretary relayed my scary experience to him. Through text, he told his secretary to tell me to see him as soon as I can and to have an ECG.

I was in my doctor’s clinic two days after that scary incident. He said what I had was called “tachycardia” or excessively fast heartbeat. There was nothing abnormal about my ECG; thank heavens for that! My cardiologist told me that I could have suffered from dehydration while dancing the Zumba or my electrolytes could have gone down or I could have experienced both. Well, I didn’t drink any water or Gatorade for the 25 minutes that I was sweating out, so I think that could be the reason why I suffered from tachycardia while dancing the Zumba.

My doctor said the heart detects both dehydration or lowered electrolytes and works double-time to supply blood to the different organs of the body. He said in case I experience tachycardia again, what I should do is rub one (not two) carotid artery. We have two carotid arteries which are located on the left side and the right side of our neck. If this doesn’t work, he said, then I should take Inderal, an oral drug used to treat heart rhythm disorders.

He also advised me not to overdo things and to exercise in moderation. He said I can do Zumba again but I should do it correctly, that is, I should have water/Gatorade by my side while I’m doing my Zumba steps and I should rest if I’m exhausted. While that tachycardic experience scared the wits out of me, I still want to do Zumba. I’m just a little busy right now reviewing my son for his third trimestral tests, but after next week, I’m definitely going back to Zumba.

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