Health warning: Zumba-related injuries

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It’s one of the most popular new classes in dance studios and fitness centers.

Have you tried “Zumba?”  

The Latin dance-inspired fitness craze now attracts 12 million participants each week.

Now we are learning Zumba can lead to serious injuries if you’re not careful.

These students say Zumba classes are a great way to get fit and have fun doing it.

But instructor Kathy Muglio developed severe foot pain after doing Zumba on a cement floor.

“You could take a couple steps, it became extremely painful and difficult,” she said.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joel Buchalter, has seen a slew of patients with Zumba-related injuries to their knees, hips and lower back.

“A lot of people get caught up with the music and excitement of it and they lose track of what they’re doing and they don’t realize that they overdid it until long afterwards,” he said.

Consumer Reports medical adviser, Dr. Orly Avitzur, said there are steps you can take to avoid risks. 

First, don’t wear shoes that grip the floor.

“Running shoes are made for forward, not lateral movements, so they’re not appropriate. You want to get shoes that pivot, like these dance shoes,” Dr. Avitzur said.

Also find a high-quality instructor.

“You can receive basic certification after taking only a one-day course. So you want to be sure to find an experienced fitness instructor.”

And, as Muglio learned the hard way, you should work out on the right kind of floor. 

Avoid hard floors like tile and carpeted surfaces, which can catch your foot. 

A hardwood floor with some give is the best way to Zumba the day away.

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