WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- DC women are dancing off pounds and inches with ZUMBA a hot new fitness craze taking over the city.
General Manager of CRUNCH tells us, "There's so much activity. It's one of those things no matter what your age, your gender you can really let loose and have a great time,"
There's another benefit to all that sweat equity. Zumba's aerobic workout can help a woman lower her risk for breast cancer.
Dr. Priscilla Furth of Georgetown University is a professor of oncology & medicine. She also runs the physical fitness and metabolism clinic at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center for breast cancer patients, survivors and those at risk.
"Exercise can help perhaps reduce your risk of developing breast cancer or if you already have breast cancer, it can actually help you recover and might even delay recurrence," Dr. Furth says.
Despite the proven benefits, exercise isn't a priority for some Latinas even though breast cancer death rates are highest in this group. Barriers to early detection are complicated says Larisa Caicedo, Executive Director of Nueva Vida, a national support network for Latinas with cancer.
"Because of the language barrier it's tough to get services if they don't know where services are or because they're uninsured and many other socio-economic barriers," Larisa tells us.
To break through the barriers to exercise, Nueva Vida, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, is sponsoring its first annual ZUMBATHON. It will be a morning of fun and fitness to a familiar Latin beat. There'll even be a bilingual health fair on site.
Lina Perez with Nueva Vida tells us, "We're going to be giving free check-ups for blood tests and vision and sugar tests. We will also have a kid's zone, a Zumba kid's zone. It's going be a lot of fun for everybody who comes."
ZUMBA is just one of many different types of aerobic exercises available. The key is choosing one that you like so that you'll stick with it.
The Zumbathon is Saturday, September 17th at the Maret School on Cathedral Avenue in NW from 8AM to 12:30PM.