Zumba is the Latin music-based aerobic dance class with so much personality that people are forgetting that they're exercising. When attempting to lose weight, finding exercise that is fun, easy and modifiable for different fitness levels is crucial to success. Finding a form of exercise that you want to stick with can mean the difference between success and failure. With Zumba, how fast you lose weight depends on how much you put into your workout, how often you dance and the diet you follow along with your exercise plan.
What Is the Zumba Workout?
Zumba may be taken in a group fitness class or performed along with a DVD at home. Several different options are offered by Zumba, including the original or basic class which feature the four Latin rhythms: marengue, salsa, cumbia and reggaeton. Advanced classes may offer additional dances like calypso, samba and belly dance. Other class options include Zumba Toning where you dance holding light weights, Aqua Zumba which is performed in the water and Zumba in the Circuit Classes taught along with circuit training exercises.
The weight loss which results from doing Zumba workouts depends on you. How much effort you put into your workout, how long your workouts last and how often you work out all determine the rate at which you will lose weight. A 150-lb. woman who does not change her eating habits, but dances at a moderate-intensity for 60 minutes four times per week, could burn about 400 calories per hour and will lose about 1 lb. every three weeks. The same number of workouts will take a 200-lb. woman only about two weeks to lose the same 1 lb. of weight at 540 calories per hour.
Zumba does not necessarily promote a certain diet program, but some of their DVD packages include a 5-day express diet plus two weeks' worth of menus. Their suggestions include eating several smaller meals throughout the day to increase your metabolism, a theory found beneficial by research published in "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in January 2005. The Zumba diet also recommends eating more fruits and vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend eating between 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit and 2 to 4 cups of vegetables per day, depending on your age, gender and activity level.
Combine Diet and Exercise
Lowering caloric intake along with the exercise program increases the rate you will lose weight. A 150-lb. woman who does Zumba at a moderate intensity for 60 minutes, four times per week and cuts 500 calories per day out of her diet will lose about 1.5 lbs. per week. Increase your workouts to six days per week in addition to diet and you will lose close to 2 lbs. per week. Zumba is a lively and pleasant way to exercise, but be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
- Zumba: About
- Health Status: Calories Burned Estimator
- Diets in Review: Zumba Fitness
- "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Regular Meal Frequency on Dietary Thermogenesis; Hamid R Farshchi, et al.; Jan. 2005
- Fruits and Veggies Matter: How Many Fruits and Vegetables do You Need?