A slim stomach doesn't mean you have to devote your life to treadmills and gym mats. "Ditch the workout and join the party," says Zumba Fitness, the dance-inspired program that helps you burn calories and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
More than 12 million people in 125 countries across the world were performing Zumba, as of 2012, reported the American Council on Exercise. If that's not a rousing endorsement, what is? Participating in the class regularly can also be a highly effective workout that effectively burns belly fat, as well as improve overall physical and mental health.
One fun class per week isn't going to make you lose stomach fat, though. Get into a routine, and pair it with healthy eating and strength training, for the most effective results.
Get to Class
To lose stomach fat, you must create an energy deficit so your body reaches into your fat stores and you lose weight. Eating fewer calories by managing your portion sizes and the types of foods you choose is important, but so is increased movement, which results in a greater calorie burn.
One hour-long Zumba class burns an average of 369 calories, determined a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise in 2012. That's 9.5 calories per minute -- more than you burn during a typical power yoga, kickboxing or step aerobics class.
You need to burn those calories almost daily to see lose stomach fat, however. A 500-calorie per day deficit can yield a pound of weight loss per week. While not all of the lost weight comes from your stomach, some of it will. You can't specifically ask your body to reduce fat from one location.
The American College of Sports Medicine has determined at least 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly brings about significant weight loss; more is better. This is equal to about four to five Zumba fitness classes weekly.
Read More: The Best Exercises for Fat Loss
Vary Your Zumba Experience
Zumba Fitness is the calorie-burning dance party with which you're probably familiar. It's the class that helps you burn the most calories, especially if you put a little extra shake in your booty.
While Zumba Fitness trains flexibility, cardiovascular health and some core with its hip-shaking and midsection stability moves, it doesn't provide a comprehensive strength workout. Other Zumba classes provide an opportunity to build a little muscle, and muscle makes your body look leaner and burn more calories at rest.
Mix up your workouts by including Zumba Sentao, a core- and strength-building dance workout using a chair, and Zumba Toning, a class that uses light weights to engage upper body muscles that might not normally get a workout during a dance class. Add these to the Zumba Fitness classes you do, or substitute them for two of your weekly Zumba Fitness class workouts.
Remember, specific core workouts, even Zumba-based ones, aren't going to make you lose the fat from your belly, but will help the area feel firmer and look more defined once you do lose stomach fat.
Read More: How to Lose Weight Fast with Zumba Fitness