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Zumba Facts

author image Joy Johnston
Joy Johnston has been an online journalist since 2005. She has served as senior producer for the health news website Sharecare and as a digital producer for the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," where she helped develop the health channel. Johnston has also covered ways to stay fit in Atlanta.
Zumba Facts
Zumba is a fun mix of dance and aerobics. Photo Credit: dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images

Zumba is a high-energy workout program that -- when performed correctly and regularly -- burns a significant number of calories. While Zumba is intended to make getting fit fun, it can cause injuries to those who are not prepared for the vigorous workout that it entails. If you have a medical condition or you have not been exercising regularly, consult a physician before enrolling in a Zumba class.

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The Zumba Workout

A Zumba workout may combine high-energy dance moves with more traditional exercises such as lunges, squats and arm curls. Throughout the routine, moves are performed to upbeat music selections, including merengue, salsa, mambo, flamenco and hip-hop. The tempo alternates between slow and fast, and most classes begin with a warm-up session and finish with a cool-down period.

Varieties of Zumba

Variations of Zumba may be offered to serve many fitness levels. Zumba Step incorporates a step prop while Zumba Sentao uses a chair. Zumba Toning utilizes toning sticks to focus on strengthening your arms and abs. Aqua Zumba, which is performed in water, is a lower-impact form of exercise that is easier on your muscles and joints. Two varieties, Zumba Gold and Zumba Gold Toning, are designed for active older adults. Zumbini is for toddlers while Zumba Kids Jr. serves children 4 to 6 years old and Zumba Kids is for those age 7 to 11.

Benefits of Zumba

According to HealthStatus, a 150-pound person can burn approximately 540 calories performing one hour of Zumba -- more than you would burn jogging for an hour. To gain the most benefits from a Zumba workout, keep your entire body moving at all times by shaking body parts, moving laterally and engaging your arms. Zumba is fun to perform and can lift your spirits while helping you get in shape. The positive group dynamic can encourage you to stick with the program.

Zumba Cautions

Zumba is an intense fitness regimen that can be overwhelming for beginners. Overexertion is a risk if you push yourself too hard. Know your limits and don’t worry about completing all of the moves during your initial class. To reduce injury risk, wear cross-trainer or dance shoes that can accommodate quick and fluid lateral movements. Wearing running shoes with deep sole treads could result in a knee injury. You may feel mild discomfort during and after your first Zumba class due to engaging muscles in novel motions. Any greater pain, however, might be a sign of injury and should not be ignored.

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