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Why you should Zumba (Dance Workout)

What is Zumba (Dance Workout)?

A combination of aerobics and usually Latin dance methods that deliver a pleasing, vigorous and habit-forming workout in a short interval of time.

Some Zumba benefits:

  • A full-body workout that works all areas, joints and muscle groups, resulting in improved coordination and heightened physical agility
  • Increased confidence due to greater energy, better posture, heightened vigour and vitality. The stimulation and release of endorphins can also improve mood and energy levels
  • Aerobic benefits due to grooving to fast paced songs calibrated around 150 beats per minute
  • Anaerobic benefits to improve endurance and strengthen the cardiovascular system
  • A social event where you’ll meet and interact with energetic folks, perhaps broadening your social network and increasing your desire to commit to a Zumba habit or routine
  • Guaranteed participation as Zumba classes are available in many places and are targeted at all skill levels. The instructors can help demonstrate techniques that are often easy to master

How It Works

Grooving to the beats of salsa, flamenco, and merengue music feels more like a dance party than a workout, which is exactly what makes Zumba so popular. The Latin-inspired dance workout is one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world. The high-energy classes are set to upbeat music and feature choreographed dance numbers that you might see in a nightclub. You don’t need to be a great dancer to feel welcome in a Zumba class. With the tag line, “Ditch the Workout, Join the Party,” the classes emphasize moving to the music and having a good time, no rhythm required. There are several different kinds of Zumba classes, from Aqua Zumba workouts to classes like Zumba Toning that incorporate weights for additional calorie burning and strength training. There are even Zumba classes for kids!

Burn more calories than kickboxing over lunchtime

Working up a sweat in the 60-minute classes burns an average of 369 calories -- more than cardio kickboxing or step aerobics. You’ll get a great cardio workout that melts fat, strengthens your core, and improves flexibility.

Intensity Level: Medium

Zumba is an interval workout. The classes move between high- and low-intensity dance moves designed to get your heart rate up and boost cardio endurance.

Areas It Targets

Core: Many of the dance steps used in the routines emphasize the hips and midsection to help strengthen the core.

Legs: The jumps and lunges that are parts of the choreographed movements help work the quads and hamstrings.

Glutes: You’ll feel the burn in your buns while you move to the beat.

Flexibility: The dance moves were designed to enhance flexibility.

Aerobic: The high-and low-intensity intervals make Zumba an excellent cardio workout.

Strength: Traditional Zumba workouts emphasize strengthening the core, while Zumba Toning and Zumba Step workouts incorporate weights to build muscles in the arms, legs, and glutes.

Why is Zumba an effective workout? Answers from Dr. Edward Laskowski, M.D. of the Mayo clinic

Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves. Zumba routines incorporate interval training — alternating fast and slow rhythms — and resistance training.

An aerobic activity, Zumba can count toward the 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity recommended for most healthy adults by the Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s fun – and a healthy addiction!

Aerobic exercise reduces health risks, keeps excess pounds at bay, strengthens your heart and boosts your mood. If you enjoy Zumba, you're also more likely to do it regularly — and experience its benefits as an aerobic exercise.

As with any exercise, if a certain movement or position hurts, try to modify the workout to avoid the aggravating activities. Also, anytime you're training with resistance, remember that proper technique is important. Don't get so caught up in your dancing that you forget proper form.

Read our next blog on how to avoid injuries in Zumba