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How to Burn Fat Using Zumba

Zumba is often touted as a great alternative to traditional fitness. It’s a fun, high energy workout that combines exercise with Latin-inspired dances that are sure to get you moving. Zumba is a good choice for anyone who struggles to stick to a fitness regimen as the fun of the classes will entice you to continue coming back so you can stay in shape.

What is Fat? 

Before we get into how to lose fat, let’s talk about what fat actually is. According to Harvard School of Public Health, “within the matrix of body fat, also called adipose tissue, there is not only fat cells but nerve and immune cells and connective tissue.” Fat not only sits under the skin to protect your bones and muscles, but also wraps around your organs. 

There are some types of fat that are essential to keeping your body healthy. These fats, when stored within the body in a healthy amount, help regulate certain hormones, control body temperature, and assist in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. The problem is when your fat cells grow too big, as fitness can reduce the size of fat cells, but not the number.

The Science of Fat Loss

There are a lot of factors that influence how much fat you lose, and how quickly you lose it. These factors include your current health, fitness goals, age, gender, current weight, level of physical fitness, genetics and intensity during workout.

All of this basically means that fat loss is very individual, and something that works for one person, may not work for someone else. However, there are some things that everyone should keep in mind when starting on their fat loss journey. 

Firstly, muscles are heavier than fat. So, when you’re on the scale and are wondering why your weight hasn’t gone down, consider that you are losing fat, and gaining muscle. Secondly, eating a diet that supports fat loss while still maintaining your health is key. Finally, make sure a healthcare professional is helping to monitor your fat loss to ensure it’s being done in a healthy way. 

You also want to make sure that your weight loss is slow and steady. While this method may be frustrating, it’s healthier, and easier to maintain as once your fat level is where you want it, you’ll be able to keep it that way.

Zumba Classes For Fat Loss

One of the best ways to burn fat with Zumba is to combine it with mid to high intensity workout. Classic Zumba on its own is not enough to burn fat. You need to be able to get your heart rate up, and the low intensity of classic Zumba will result in a plateau rather than consistent fat loss and muscle gain. 

Luckily, Zumba offers lots of different classes, some of which are mid to high intensity. It is recommended that you work out daily, and you participate in higher level intensity classes two to three times per week, while alternating with lower intensity classes on off days.

Zumba Toning

This Zumba class incorporates weights, so you are not only getting a cardio workout with all the fun of the dancing, but you are strength training as well. This class is best for someone who has never done strength training before.

Zumba Step

For more of a lower body workout, Zumba Step incorporates all of the classic dances with a raised surface for you to step on. It will get your heart rate higher and is good for those who may already do strength training but want a fun and higher intensity cardio workout.

Zumba Sentao 

This class type adds a chair as your dance partner. Not only will you be stepping on and off of it, but you will use it for push-ups, leg lifts, and many other toning exercises. This class is listed by Zumba as being very beginner friendly. 

Zumba in the Circuit 

This class combines Zumba with circuit training and is the most well-rounded of the four higher intensity options. This 30-minute class is the closest you’ll get to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which is ideal for fat loss.

Lily Frances | Staff Writer

Spring 2024

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