By now, you’ve probably heard of Zumba. This Latin dance-inspired exercise phenomenon first took the world by storm in the early 2000s and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. It’s a fast-paced dance exercise program that’s not only fun, but also has a lot of health benefits.
The types of health benefits that you get depend on the type of class you take, as Zumba has branched out from its original class type, to include 12 different classes. Some classes are higher intensity than others, and some are more suited for those of certain ages. But no matter your age, or physical ability, you can find a class that works for you, so you can start dancing your way to better health.
Benefits of All Zumba Classes
- It’s Fun
When it comes to exercise, you want to find something that you know you can stick with and will want to participate in regularly. Many people find that traditional exercise regimens are hard to stick to. You may find yourself overwhelmed, or tired and unmotivated to participate. Benefits of a traditional workout are only theoretical if you find yourself rarely doing them.
Any exercise is good exercise, and you’re more likely to stick with and benefit from something you enjoy. One of the great things about Zumba is that the fun atmosphere of the classes are more likely to get you to come back.
- Good for Heart Health
Zumba gets your heart rate up to recommended levels for exercise, helps build endurance and can increase the strength of your heart. The high intensity of the music means that you’ll be more likely to keep pace, meaning that you won’t find yourself slowing down, thus allowing your heart rate to pick up. Doing this consistently and regularly can have overall lasting positive benefits on your heart health.
- Good for Mental Health
Many studies have shown that exercise in any capacity can help increase one’s mood. While exercise is not a replacement for other mental health management avenues, and will not cure anxiety or depression, it is a great management tool to add to your toolkit.
Zumba especially, with its fun and social atmosphere can help you to de-stress, and the judgment-free nature of the classes has led to many people experiencing higher self-esteem and confidence.
- Improves Coordination
Dancing requires a lot of coordination. Since these workouts combine different movements using different body parts, you’ll find yourself having to essentially multi-task your movements. Doing this regularly will help with balance, and the more comfortable you get with the different moves and steps, the more coordinated you’ll find you are.
- Improves Aerobic Capacity
Aerobic, meaning “with oxygen”, is a cardiovascular exercise that is intended to get your blood pumping more quickly through your body, and to increase the amount of oxygen your lungs take in. Your breathing determines the amount of oxygen that goes to your muscles, thus giving them strength to move. Aerobic exercise is the most important part of any fitness routine, and Zumba is a perfect example of Aerobic exercise.
Benefits of Certain Zumba Classes
You may find, when researching Zumba, that it can burn between 600 and 1000 calories. While this is technically true, it is not true of all Zumba classes. There are two things that will determine how many calories you burn during a Zumba class, your instructor, and the class type.
Instructors who teach at a lower intensity are not going to get you moving at a pace to burn a lot of calories. While these classes will still be fun, and exercise, no matter the intensity is important, if you want to lose weight, build muscle or improve your flexibility, you’ll want to make sure you’re in a class with an instructor who will help you achieve your goals.
Also, the lower-intensity classes such as Classic Zumba and Aqua Zumba will not burn a high number of calories in comparison to more high intensity classes. Classes like Zumba Toning, Zumba Step, Zumba Sentao, and Zumba in the Circuit are all great options if you are looking for a class to help you lose weight and burn a lot of calories.
Lily Frances | Staff Writer