Workouts don’t have to be a chore. In fact, workouts don’t have to feel like workouts at all. With Zumba, a workout isn’t even a workout: it’s a fun, social dance party – with exercise being the biggest perk! The music is fast, upbeat and contagious, so you can’t help but keep moving. And since it takes place in a group setting, Zumba is by far one of the best ways to get your friends in on your exercise routine. Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
- Calorie and fat burning: At its core, Zumba classes provide a large calorie burn through aerobic activity done with interval training in mind. The average person will burn around 600 to 1,000 calories in a Zumba class. With the classes choreographed to provide intervals of intensity in both
paceof music and type of movements, class members’ energy expenditure is maximized for fat-burning benefits. Fitness moves are also incorporated within Zumba dances, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself moving from a fast merengue beat to a long, slow set of push-ups on the wall, or doing several sets of squats followed by plyometric jumps.
- Improved coordination: By joining a Zumba class, you’ll definitely improve your coordination, which is extremely important to maintain as you grow older.
- Full body workout: Zumba is both a dance class and a fitness class. Aside from its heart-health benefits, Zumba provides a workout for the whole body. From head and shoulder rolls that loosen up the neck and warm up the upper body, to footwork that strengthens and stretches calves and ankles, this fitness method touches on nearly every muscle and joint. Even those who are just learning the dance steps will find themselves waking up the day after a Zumba class with a definitive post-workout feeling.
- Aerobic benefits: Zumba makes reaching your target heart rate much easier than standard workout routines you’d find on a DVD or in a gym. It does this by using songs that play around 145 beats per minute. This fast pace makes it feel natural to move around quickly. This will set you on the path to true aerobic exercise. If you are trying to build endurance, this is the best thing you can do for yourself. Exercising for prolonged periods at this rate can increase the strength of your heart.
- Anaerobic benefits: Because Zumba’s music plays at a fast pace, moving to the beat of the music can start to build up your endurance after only a few workouts. It builds up your anaerobic endurance rather quickly. Overall, it’s most useful for helping to maintain a good cardiovascular respiratory system. It increases how much oxygen you can breathe during a high-intensity event.
- It gets you hooked on exercise: Workouts that feel like work are hard to get excited about. But Zumba is so enjoyable you actually want to keep coming back. It completely changes the idea of exercise because it’s something you really look forward to. It will keep you on a healthy routine!
- Everyone can join in: Classes are offered at all levels, including standard Zumba, Zumba Gold for senior citizens, Zumba for kids and even Aqua-Zumba done in swimming pools. Because Zumba is based on music and dance, it seems to speak a universal language that people of all nations can related to. There is no large learning curve in a Zumba class, either. New participants may receive small-scale step rehearsals before some longer dances, but in most cases, first-timers can simply jump right into a class and follow along with the instructor.
- Increased confidence: Thanks to all that dancing that a Zumba workout requires, you’ll lower your inhibitions, you’ll improve your posture, you’ll have better coordination and you’ll feel good about yourself. These changes will reflect immediately on your mood and on your appearance. Someone who feels good also has greater confidence.
- Mood boosting: Zumba is the perfect workout to take if you want to get rid of all that stress you accumulate during your every day. The upbeat moves specific to this type of workout favor the release of those mood-improving endorphins, and by joining a Zumba class, you’ll surely be able to feel your worries melt away as you lose yourself in the music.
- It’s social: At a Zumba class, you’ll be able to meet and interact with interesting and fun people. You could go to this type of workout for at least two or three times per week and you’ll get to socialize and make a lot of new friends among your Zumba classmates. You can also bring your friends to the party — instructors host “Zumba parties” for corporate challenges, bachelorette parties and more.