Zumba is a really fun work out with great music and some pretty amazing workout gear to boot, but what is it's real benefits? If you're considering heading to Zumba class but don't know how much good it will do then read on, we have the answers...
If we are being totally honest, finding the time and motivation to go for a run or head to the gym can sometimes be challenging. Which is why Zumba is a perfect solution. Spending 40 minutes grooving, stepping, jumping and dancing means that it does not feel like you are giving your whole body a workout and toning muscles too.
Sure Zumba is fun, but what are the real health benefits?
Burns Fat and Calories
One of the best benefits of Zumba is that a speedy class actually burns body fat and calories.
A 2012 study found that a standard 40-minute class burned an average of 9.5 calories per minute, working out to around 380 calories in total, which is the equivalent of a Mcdonald's Cheesburger. It is recommended that individuals burn 300 calories per workout in order to promote weight loss, which makes Zumba ideal.
The classes also build strength and flexibility by using moves such as jumps and squats to target specific muscle groups. It specifically works the core, which should be engaged during the whole class. Many people choose to end a Zumba class with a yoga or pilates session, to stretch out and tone the muscles that have just been worked out.
The arms, which are used more during specific classes such as Zumba Toning by incorporating light weights into routines. The body’s largest and most powerful muscle, the glutes are probably the most used muscle group along with the hamstrings.
Everyone Can Join In
As Zumba is considered a medium level of intensity, it means that it is available for people of any age and any ability. Suitable for both the fitness newbie and the professional dancer. You can quite easily take the session at your own pace and many instructors even offer simpler alternatives to some of the more complex moves that still work the same muscles. The music and rhythm make it easy to stay in time and there is always another person to follow.
Something that we may not see as greatly important when we are young, but Zumba massively helps with balance and co-ordination. By following routines and moving in time you start to understand the movements and balance of your own body.
One of the real perks of Zumba is how utterly great you feel afterwards. Most exercise increases chemicals called endorphins, which trigger positive feelings and reduce our body’s perception of pain. On top of this, the buzzing group energy, enthusiastic instructors and uplifting music mean that you usually leave a class feeling much happier, if a little more sweaty.
Exercise is often linked to aiding depression and relieving stress; it allows you to forget about daily irritations and let loose. Not only is it good for you but it also helps banish stress hormones and helps us to cope with stress better. Working out can also help you to feel calmer and clearer and can regulate our appetite.
According to the American College of Sports Science, group exercise offers exposure to a social and fun environment. They state that a common reason for giving up on an exercise program is boredom and therefore classes that offer different instructor styles, interaction with others and energetic music help to keep people engaged. Zumba is the perfect example of this as it allows you to meet new like-minded people with similar goals to you.
Research from 2015 showed that participants had an overall decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and in systolic blood pressure after a 12-week Zumba fitness program which shows the positive biological effects that it can have on your body.
It Makes You Go Back For More
Zumba is addictive and as soon as you start to see and feel results you are more than likely to be heading back for more. It is also a great opener into other fitness classes and can give you confidence to try new things.
Zumba Is Everywhere
Often you find a new fitness craze that you would love to try but discover that it is only available in a city miles away. This is not the case for Zumba. As it has become so universally popular, there are people teaching Zumba everywhere. Just in London for example there are hundreds of different classes available at all times of day.
The best way to get the most out of your fitness is to do something that you enjoy and that doesn’t feel like a chore, that way you are more likely to stay motivated and stick to it.