Zumba is a group fitness program that adds the fun of Latin dance moves and music to the format of an aerobics class. Like other forms of aerobic exercise, it helps you burn extra calories to create the caloric imbalance that leads to burning fat. How fast those calories add up to 30 pounds depends not just on Zumba itself, but on your commitment to the program and how you support your weight-loss exercise.
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Zumba may sound different from other group aerobics classes, but its principals are similar. A session consists of moving through energetic postures and motions in a way that increases your caloric burn and helps improve cardiovascular fitness and foster weight loss. The points that make Zumba different from other programs are mostly cosmetic: a focus on Latin dance motions and the use of world music on exercise soundtracks.
Calories and Weight Loss
When you burn more calories through activity than you take in through eating, your body finds the excess energy by burning energy it stored earlier as fat. That fat burns, and you lose weight. It takes about 3,500 calories of exercise to burn 1 pound worth of fat.
Health resource website HealthStatus.com provides data on how many calories you'll burn in various activities. The site doesn't provide information on specific brand-name programs, but according to HealthStatus, a 40-minute session of a typical Zumba fitness DVD will burn about 250 calories in a 140-pound woman. Heavier people will burn more in the same session, and lighter people will burn less.
How Long Will It Take?
At 250 calories per session, you would need to take in about 420 sessions of Zumba to take off 30 pounds if you used Zumba alone. At four sessions per week, you're looking at about two years of Zumba. However, if you use Zumba along with a combination of a weight-loss diet and regular resistance-training sessions, you can see results much faster.