Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance workout that instructors say is primarily an aerobic workout and it’s all about having fun.
Few exercise classes have had the longevity of Zumba. This dance class, which feels more like a party than a dance, remains hugely popular with fitness-conscious people around the world. In fact, Zumba is currently practiced by 15 million people in 180 countries, according to the company.
Here’s everything you need to know about what Zumba is, its health benefits, and how to get started.
What is Zumba?
Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance workout created in Colombia by famed fitness trainer Alberto “Beto” Perez in the 1990s, according to an article in the June 2012 Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. It is often described like a dance party rather than a workout, as participants are encouraged to move to the beat of the music rather than following the choreography exactly.
But make no mistake: Zumba is a workout. It is primarily a cardiovascular activity, which helps build endurance while burning calories. Zumba can be added to your weekly schedule as often as you like, although one to three times a week is ideal if you want to practice it regularly so you have time in your week for other types of workouts. ‘coaching.
The health benefits of Zumba
There are many health benefits associated with this Latin-inspired dance workout.
Research published in December 2016 in the journal PM&R found regular Zumba classes to be an effective type of aerobic activity. They improve participants’ cardiovascular fitness and can also improve strength and flexibility.
Like other types of aerobic exercise, Zumba has been linked to improved markers of cardiovascular health. In a small study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, sedentary obese women saw their blood pressure and triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood) drop significantly after taking two weekly Zumba classes for 12 weeks.
Additionally, many people find dance workouts like Zumba to be a great way to release stress. Although research on the effects of Zumba on mental health is lacking, some studies have linked exercise to mood benefits. A study published in March 2018 in Frontiers in Psychology found that people with mental disorders saw their mood improve after just one session of moderate exercise.
As with any form of exercise, you need to do Zumba regularly to experience these benefits. Time spent doing Zumba counts toward the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise you should do (at a minimum) each week for optimal health.
Zumba can be done daily, as long as the person tolerates it, or intermittently, along with other forms of exercise such as walking or weight lifting.
Zumba can help with weight loss because it involves movement and therefore burns calories. In the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine study mentioned above, healthy women burned an average of 9.5 calories per minute during a Zumba class.
New to Zumba? Here’s what you need to know.
1. What muscles does Zumba work?
Although Zumba works the whole body, it primarily targets the leg and core muscles. “You’ll probably be doing a lot of lateral movement, jumping, and forward and backward steps, which will work your quads, calves, hamstrings, and glutes. Depending on the style of the class and the instructor, you may also be doing a lot of upper body movement.
2. Are all Zumba classes the same or are there different types?
The intensity of Zumba varies from class to class and instructor to instructor. There are also classes for specific populations and interests, such as Chair Zumba, Water Zumba, Zumba for Seniors, Zumba for Kids, and more.
You have many options for finding a Zumba class that fits your schedule, lifestyle, and personal preferences. In-person or online Zumba classes are offered at many gyms and fitness studios.
3. Do I need specific shoes for Zumba?
Make sure you have a supportive pair of shoes for Zumba. You need a model that provides stability for your ankles and allows you to make quick movements in all directions. Lightweight sneakers or sneakers designed specifically for dancing are best. The most important feature to consider is support, as you’re going to be slipping and stomping a lot of times. Some people prefer shoes with medium or high soles for ankle support.
4. What should I wear for Zumba?
You will also want to wear comfortable clothes that will allow you to move without restriction. Zumba is primarily a cardio workout, so you will sweat. Take this into consideration when choosing your workout equipment.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t try zumba?
Zumba is not necessarily suitable for everyone. If you have chronic heart disease, high blood pressure, or musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, exercise caution and consult your doctor before trying Zumba.