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Calories Burned With Zumba vs. Hot Yoga

author image Bryn Bellamy
Bryn Bellamy has written professionally since 1999 and specializes in food & drink, travel, outdoor recreation, nutrition and general features. She has a background in restaurant management and hotel catering, was a features editor for Gannett, and was nominated for a James Beard Award for Food & Drink design and editing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Southern California.
Calories Burned With Zumba vs. Hot Yoga
Women doing zumba workout. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Zumba and hot yoga both can provide an effective calorie burn for participants who want to lose or maintain weight, but the exact number of calories you burn will depend on you. In either class, calorie burn will vary according to the intensity and frequency of your participation. Choose hot yoga if you want to increase your flexibility and strength while burning fat; choose the hot rhythms of Latin dance-based Zumba for more focus on your cardiovascular fitness.

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About Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is a generic term for Bikram yoga, a style introduced to the U.S. by India-native Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s. Bikram yogis practice in a room heated to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit with elevated humidity. Choudhury managed to copyright his series, which consists of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, in 2002 and since then has successfully prevented non-affiliated studios from offering classes under the Bikram name. Thus you may encounter "hot yoga" classes patterned after the Bikram series that use a different series of poses or less heat.

Hot Yoga Calorie Burn

Official Bikram classes are strenuous -- yogis attempt to hold some standing poses, such as Standing Bow-Pulling Pose and Standing Head to Knee Pose, for up to 60 seconds, a feature intended to raise your heart rate. The heat of a Bikram studio further increases your heart rate as your body increases circulation to cool itself. Beginner Bikram classes are always 90 minutes long and a 150 pound person can burn up to 715 calories during a typical class. In reality, every class is different, and you may find yourself sitting out certain postures or taking an "easy day" if you are injured or ill or just dealing poorly with the heat on a given day -- in which case, your calorie burn likely will be lower. As a hot yoga practitioner, you can maximize calories burned by holding postures for the full length of time specified by the instructor and by fully engaging the relevant muscles.

About Zumba

Aerobics instructor Alberto "Beto" Perez introduced Zumba Fitness to Miami in 2001. Participants follow instructors through dance fitness routines set to the high-energy Latin rhythms of cumbia, salsa and merengue along with complementary styles such as reggaeton and hip-hop. Zumba instructors may also include traditional toning exercises such as lunges and bicep curls. Zumba Fitness offers specialized classes for older adults and children, water-based workouts, and workouts designed specifically for toning muscles.

Zumba Calorie Burn

A 150 pound person can burn approximately 540 calories in a one-hour Zumba class. As with yoga, your results may vary depending on your age, sex, weight, overall level of fitness and the intensity with which you move your body. You can gauge your level of exertion by your ability to converse during cardiovascular exercise -- the more difficult it is for you to speak a full sentence, the higher your heart rate and the more calories you're burning. Check with your doctor before embarking on a new exercise program.

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