I am sure that many of you have heard about Zumba. This amazing workout program has taken the world by storm, with over 150 million people attending Zumba classes all over the globe every week. If you have ever watched a Zumba class, you must have noticed its resemblance to a dance floor full of a good-spirited people dancing to upbeat music and having a blast. This may not be your idea of a strenuous weight shedding workout, but read on and learn about the amazing benefits of Zumba and why it is one of the most effective workout programs out there.
What is Zumba and what are the benefits of Zumba?
Zumba is an exercise program that combines Latin music with different types of dance and fitness moves. In addition to being innovative and entertaining, it’s a powerful exercise for burning calories and muscle conditioning.
Let not your poor dancing skills or lousy coordination deter you. It is designed for a range of ages and fitness levels, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. All you need to do is move to the beat of the music. So, if you are thinking about signing up for a fitness program, this is why you should try Zumba and start reaping the Zumba dance benefits.
Weight loss and muscle toning
Weight loss is probably one of the most important benefits of Zumba. The Zumba dance involves moving your entire body, so you get a full-body workout. Studies have shown that a one 50-minute class of Zumba can burn between 400 and 600 calories, depending on the intensity and the effort you put. So when you compare this to other more strenuous forms of exercise, it seems as though you’ll be burning more calories for less the effort.
The Zumba workout is also great for increasing your metabolic rate, which means that even when you are resting, you will continue to burn more calories thanks to your faster metabolism… in other words, your dream body will be in the process of making even when you are not exercising. For comparison, weight lifting would provide a much higher increase in your metabolic rate, but you’ll need to put in herculean effort.
One research published in the Indian Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Applied Sciences claims that Zumba can improve bone density and prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. It also cites other researchers who claim that Zumba can have a positive effect on the hormonal profile, and reproductive health.
Another big benefit of Zumba is that it helps you tone your whole body. OK, Zumba doesn`t come close to bodybuilding or weight lifting when it comes to muscle definition, but its mixture of fast and slow rhythms (with the occasional squat and twist) engages virtually every muscle group and helps fine tune them.
Zumba movements strengthen your upper body and leg muscles, but they also engage your core which is a step closer to having stronger abs, back muscles and improved posture.
Back when I was doing Cize (a different dance workout), people were constantly asking me about scheduling. So when is the best time to do Zumba? Well, given the fact that you’ll be warming up one beat at a time, there are no strict guidelines as you would expect with weightlifting or complex bodyweight training.
Health benefits of Zumba
Being a fast-paced aerobic exercise, Zumba is great for improving your cardiovascular fitness, as it very quickly builds up your anaerobic endurance. It can help you achieve your target heart rate very easily which, in the long run, will make your heart healthier and stronger. This translates into having a higher blood sugar metabolism, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, and increased physical capacity.
This type of exercise is also good for your lungs, because it trains them to be more efficient. When you do Zumba, you breathe hard, which increases the capacity of your lungs to absorb more oxygen and then deliver it to your muscles and organs. Thus, your organs work more efficiently and your muscles have the improved capacity to work harder.
Furthermore, a Zumba workout makes you more flexible, ultimately increasing your range of motion. The dynamic range of Zumba exercises make you move your entire body in a way that you generally wouldn’t. And being limber and flexible can reduce muscle and joint injuries making your everyday life much easier. Another important health benefit of a Zumba workout is that it improves your coordination and motor skills – something that you will greatly appreciate later in life.
Mental benefits of Zumba
It`s a well-known fact that exercising and dancing (and with Zumba you get both!) help produce mood-improving endorphins. Many Zumba lovers have said that getting lost in the music, and all of those upbeat moves work as a miraculous stress reliever. So it’s only a matter of time before you start feeling the benefits of Zumba reflecting on your mood. And as your mood and appearance improve, so will your confidence. Inevitably, this will set you on the path to a better-quality and a less stressful life.
One of the most important Zumba benefits, when it comes to psychological wellbeing, comes from being present in the moment. Nothing plugs you off from the constant chatter like dynamic moves, and dancing sequences that stretch as far as an hour.
Social benefits of Zumba
A Zumba class is a group dancing workout. It provides an excellent social context to meet people. Such is the nature of group classes – they provide the opportunity to meet others and interact with a garden variety of strangers. You can bring friends along, or just use the social environment Zumba provides to make new ones. It creates a sense of belonging to a community or a “family”, which may be a significant step to an improved social life.
Is Zumba for me?
Yet another benefit of Zumba is that anyone can do it. It is basically a mix of dancing and exercise, which instantly implies that it is lots of fun, and to be honest, who doesn`t like having fun? Classes are available almost everywhere and their versatility means that men and women of all ages and fitness levels can jump in and start enjoying the benefits of Zumba dance from the very first class.
Considering the Zumba dance benefits, it is safe to say that fitness beginners and veterans alike can enjoy this engaging workout – either as their main program, or perhaps a supplement to other, more strenuous forms of exercise.
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Can I lose weight with Zumba?
Although there won’t a stark difference overnight, you will most definitely lose a couple of pounds doing Zumba. If you pay attention to your diet as well, Zumba can easily help you lose up to 20 pounds over the course of two months. Whatever else might be said, I’m willing to accept this deal over the horror that is weightlifting any day of the week! Dancing my way to weight loss? Sure, where do I sign?
The best thing, however, is that once you get there Zumba can help you maintain your desired weight. Coupled with all of the other benefits mentioned above, it should be a no-brainer. If you, therefore, consider the Zumba dance for weight loss at home, I’d say that you are on the right track.
Zumba is the perfect workout for losing weight if you are looking for a low impact routine. If you want to check another low impact routine, make sure to read our extensive PiYo review.
Benefits of Zumba once a week
Regardless of your current level of fitness, sweating excessively for up to one hour can help you maintain your desired weight, even when you do Zumba sporadically. Most of the benefits mentioned above would apply even to a once-a-week practice. To enjoy some of the benefits of a Zumba workout, you can easily schedule one session per week.
So, in a nutshell, is Zumba a viable exercise routine? Well, of course it is!
Here are the Zumba workout benefits:
- Weight loss
- Weight maintenance
- Increased metabolic rate
- Improved mood
- More energy throughout the day
- Low impact cardio (to prevent injuries)
- Increased lung capacity
- Increased range of motion
- A healthier cardiovascular system
- Stronger core
- Improved coordination and rhythm
- Improved posture
- The opportunity to enjoy a social environment and be part of a group
- Convenience (if you decide to work out at home)
Can I do Zumba at home?
If you don`t have time to go to your local gym or you simply can`t commit to a strict exercise schedule, you can still enjoy the benefits of Zumba without having to leave your home. This is very convenient because a Zumba workout doesn’t require much room, or any special equipment.
That being said, you can definitely enjoy Zumba at home. There are countless Zumba books and DVDs you can purchase, or you can simply choose from the variety of Zumba workouts available online. You can also come up with your own routine… so put on some Zumba songs and start moving.
As is evident, there are many benefits of Zumba that can make a huge impact on your appearance and overall health. The benefits of Zumba dance will make you stronger, happier and healthier. So, if you love music and are looking to improve your general wellbeing, don’t hesitate to find your nearest Zumba class and join today!