If you’ve ever watched a Zumba class, you’ve probably noticed its uncanny resemblance to the dance floor of a popular club on a Saturday night.
Instead of the grunts you’d hear at your typical CrossFit or indoor cycling class, a Zumba class boasts catchy dance music, clapping hands, and even the occasional “Woo!” or gasp of excitement from an enthusiastic participant.
Zumba is a workout featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance, performed to music. It’s become a popular and trendy workout across the globe.
But is it effective in burning calories, toning your arms, and sculpting muscles? Read on to discover the surprising benefits of Zumba.
It’s a full-body workout
Designed as a combination of salsa and aerobics, there’s no right or wrong way to do Zumba. As long as you move to the beat of the music, you’re participating in the exercise.
And since Zumba involves movement of the entire body — from your arms to your shoulders and to your feet — you’ll get a full-body workout that doesn’t feel like work.
You’ll burn calories (and fat!)
You’ll build endurance
Since music played during a Zumba class is relatively fast-paced, moving to the beat can help build your endurance after just a few workouts.
You’ll improve cardiovascular fitness
According to the
- 64 and 94 percent of their HRmax, a measure of an athlete’s maximum heart rate
- 40 to 85 percent of VO2 max, a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen an athlete can use
Improved blood pressure
It’s adaptable for any fitness level
Since the intensity of Zumba is scalable — you’re moving on your own to the beat of the music — it’s a workout that everyone can do at their own intensity level!
Since Zumba is a group activity, you’ll essentially be welcomed into a social situation any time you step into a class.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, benefits of group workouts include:
- exposure to a social and fun environment
- an accountability factor
- a safe and effectively designed workout that you can follow along with
This is all instead of a workout plan you must design and follow through with on your own.
It can increase your pain threshold
Want to get tough? Try Zumba! The
You can improve your quality of life
An effective Zumba program provides not only health benefits, but also social benefits of a group workout, too. People can enjoy an improved quality of life with these combined perks.
So, who’s ready to dance? Try a Zumba class at your local gym today.
Erin Kelly is a writer, marathoner, and triathlete living in New York City. She can regularly be found running the Williamsburg Bridge with The Rise NYC, or cycling laps of Central Park with the NYC Trihards, New York City’s first free triathlon team. When she isn’t running, biking, or swimming, Erin enjoys writing and blogging, exploring new media trends, and drinking lots of coffee.