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Zumba Workout Benefits

by
author image Faith Watson
Faith Watson owns Exercise In Disguise Alternative Fitness Studio in Gilberts, Ill., is a PMA-certified Pilates teacher, an NSCA-certified personal trainer, and an official Zumba instructor. She also specializes in non-diet weight management and wellness lifestyle coaching. Previously, Watson was a copywriter and brand strategist for large clients in health care and technology.
Zumba Workout Benefits
Zumba bases its movements on Latin dance. Photo Credit Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Overview

Zumba is a dance fitness method based on salsa and other Latin dance moves, performed to Latin and world music beats, and choreographed to allow people of any fitness or dance experience level to enjoy a fantastic workout. If you think you'd like an exhilarating class filled with good feelings and party-like fun, Zumba makes an excellent choice of a group fitness method to support your fitness goals.

Fat and Calorie Burning

At its core, Zumba classes are intended to provide a large calorie burn through aerobic activity done with interval training in mind. Depending on body weight, sex, fitness level and other common physical factors, the number of calories you burn in a typical Zumba class will equal that of any fast social dancing hour, such as salsa, disco or jitterbug. For most people, that can add up to 400 to 600 calories burned per hour. With the classes choreographed to provide intervals of intensity in both pace of music and type of movements, class members' energy expenditure is maximized for fat-burning benefits. Fitness moves are also incorporated within Zumba dances, so don't be surprised if you find yourself moving from a fast merengue beat to a long, slow set of push-ups on the wall, or doing several sets of squats followed by plyometric jumps.

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Full Body Workout

Zumba is both a dance class and a fitness class. Aside from its heart-health benefits, Zumba provides a workout for the whole body. From head and shoulder rolls that loosen up the neck and warm up the upper body, to footwork that strengthens and stretches calves and ankles, this fitness method touches on nearly every muscle and joint. Even those who are just learning the dance steps will find themselves waking up the day after a Zumba class with a definitive post-workout feeling. Hips and abs receive particular attention in the Latin dance style, and as with many dance exercise classes, thighs and butts often end up being sore the day after class. Flexibility is not ignored in a Zumba class either, with warm-ups and cool-downs a regular part of Zumba programming.

Fun for Everyone

Zumba classes are winning over fitness enthusiasts from across the world as Zumba instructors are being certified to teach classes in record numbers. Owing to popular demand, gyms and studios worldwide are offering standard Zumba, Zumba Gold for senior citizens, Zumba for kids and even Aqua-Zumba done in swimming pools. Because Zumba is based on music and dance, it seems to speak a universal language that people of all nations can related to. There is no large learning curve in a Zumba class, either. New participants may receive small-scale steps rehearsals before some longer dances, but in most cases, first-timers can simply jump right into a class and follow along with the instructor. Zumba instructors are trained to explain little with words, and instead use their body and hand motions to indicate which steps will follow, to keep class plans flowing and easy-to-follow. Whoops and hollers are a regular occurrence while the dancers have legitimate fun dancing to infectious rhythms and specialty songs.

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References

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