Zumba - Forget About the Workout, Dance It Out!
Zumba is an aerobic form of exercise for anyone no matter what your current fitness level is. Zumba is a dance fitness program that uses various styles of Latin-American dance forms and music to help you stay in shape or stay fit, all while you are having buckets of dancing fun. Zumba uses music and dance to motivate and encourage you to lose yourself in the music while forgetting about any stresses from your day. There are several different Zumba dance fitness programs that allow individuals of all ages the opportunity to participate and improve their overall health. Zumba offers you the ability to improve your posture, flexibility, metabolism, strength, and endurance all while you dance to the beat of the music. So why not join the party?!
Now, let’s take a better look at the health benefits of Zumba.
Burn Those Calories
Zumba is a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training. The variation of controlled and swift exercises brings a level of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise that kicks your metabolism into gear throughout the entire Zumba class. During a Zumba class, you burn about 600 to 1000 calories in just a one-hour class. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. So, why not have fun while you are doing it! Aerobic exercise can help reduce health risks, maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your heart.
Physical activity is one of the key components for good heart health. But why? Physical activity is one of your most effective tools to strengthen the heart muscles, maintain a healthy weight and protect the heart from artery damage, which can occur from high cholesterol, blood sugar or blood pressure, and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Exercise physiologists at Johns Hopkins Medicine report that aerobic exercise and resistance training are the most important for heart health. Aerobic exercise provides an improvement in your circulation, which results in lower blood pressure and heart rate. Aerobic exercise also helps in reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and if you have diabetes, it helps you control your blood sugar. Zumba also provides you with resistance training that can help reduce fat and create leaner muscle mass. Research has shown that the combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training may help raise your HDL cholesterol and lower your LDL cholesterol, improving your overall heart health and reducing risk of heart disease.
In Zumba, arm and leg movements are often moving in different directions. You may not be aware but your brain and body are working together to make sure that you are following the steps to the beat of the music. This coordination is important, especially as we age, because it helps prevent falls and your risk of serious injuries. Zumba helps with learning how to keep our balance, coordination, and energy as we go through our aging process.
Going to the gym is not always easy, it can be an intimidating and a frustrating experience especially if you are not too confident in your current fitness level. However, Zumba is all about engaging with one another; it is a social and communal-based activity that studies have shown helps to release endorphins and neurotransmitters that can improve mood and help eliminate stress hormones. Other studies have noted the psychological and social benefits on the quality of life that were found after a Zumba fitness class. Therefore, showing the effectiveness of reducing your fatigue and having a positive feeling as you leave your Zumba class.
The Bottom Line
Zumba is an aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up and gets you moving - helping you to burn those pesky calories, boost your metabolism, increasing your endurance, and improve your coordination and confidence! So, why not give it a try and lose yourself to the beat of the music. Zumba is a great way to start your fitness journey and it is adaptable for any age at any level.
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Written by: Heidi Baltodano, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
1. Mayo Clinic