Have you noticed that certain muscles are sore because they’ve been getting a workout?

My abs, obliques and shoulders after pretty much every workout. Not unbearably sore but i know i have used them. After Ripped i definitely feel my abs, obliques, lower back a little (need to hold my stomach tighter to help protect my back) and my triceps, shoulders, glutes and quads.
Mixing up which DVD i do has been a great way to avoid too much pain in any one muscle group as the targeted group from one day gets a rest the next day while other muscles are targeted instead.

How is the Zumba workout different from other workouts you usually do?

Since having my son 18 months ago my "workouts" have included going for a walk and the very occasional boxing session with my hubby. Going for a walk is nice when the weather is good. My son loves seeing the plants and birds and if you can walk with a friend then it is a great way to catch up. But for me personally, walking does not result in any weight loss at all.

To lose weight i have to get my heart rate up to at least 140bpm, preferably 160bpm. Zumba helps me achieve that. I have found that Rush gets my heart rate highest so far but it is only a 20min session. Activate and Exhilarate are equal second. Ripped doesnt get my heart rate up so high but definitely hurts the most due to the intensity of the muscle workout.
The advantage that Zumba has over other high-energy workouts i have done in the past, such as RPM (spin bike) classes is that you are having so much fun and SMILING so much of the time that you barely notice the workout... until you stop! lol

What time of day have you found yourself popping in the Exhilarate DVDs and doing the workout?

It varies, check my "busy, busy, busy" thread, lol. I have so much stuff crammed into my week that i have had to set aside a combination of evenings and mornings during my son's nap time. The session times i have locked in stone are 8pm tuesdays and 10am saturdays as these are the 2 sessions that i have girlfriends come over and Zumba with me. The remaining workouts are planned around each day's activities.

What do you think about the choreography? Are you finding the routines easy to follow?

Having done Rush, Activate, Exhilarate and Ripped at least twice each now i can definitely say that they get easier to follow each time. The only routines i am still struggling to follow/keep up with are the Sentao movement patterns that dont involve the chair. But i figure the bits with the chair are the key bits to get right at this stage and i just kind of jiggle and giggle my way through the other bits

Have you noticed a change in your emotions? Do you have more energy?

I haven't noticed an increase in energy yet. More like a more positive outlook on things. So i still feel tired but i find i can handle the tiredness better. I am noticing a sense of inner calm every now and then and when combined with the excitement and fun of doing the Zumba sessions with my friends my week certainly feels a lot less mundane and stuck in routine. Every now and then i feel a glimmer of the sparkly version of myself shining through and i cant wait for the glimmer to become a beacon for myself and my family to follow.