Zumba is the latest addition to fitness and dance; it is an aerobic dance program inspired by several Latin and American style dance forms such as hip-hop and salsa. Currently, there are 200,000 Zumba dance class locations in 180 countries globally. Unlike the traditional fitness classes where you hear grunts, you will hear Latin music in Zumba dance classes. Zumba is a Spanish word meaning to move fast and briskly. Alberto Beto Perez, a Colombian dancer, came up with the idea of Zumba dance. He started classes in the 90s in his home country. However, he officially founded the dance classes in 2001 in the USA. Since its release in 2001, Zumba dance classes have grown exponentially in terms of the fitness programs they offer. Let’s take a look below:
There is a wide range of Zumba dance fitness programs that you can choose from. Some of the most popular programs are:
- Zumba Step: It is similar to standard Zumba dance but with a few more aerobic steps for quick leg movements. If you want to tone your legs into shape, Zumba step is the one for you.
- Zumba Toning: Adds some part of traditional strength training using toning (lightweight) sticks.
- ZumbaKids: These are Zumba classes specifically designed for kids. The ZumbaKids classes have added flavor of games and activities so that kids can enjoy Zumba dance classes.
- Zumba Gold: These classes are dedicated to older people. It is similar to traditional Zumba but with low intensity.
- Aqua Zumba: Brings the crazy Zumba fun to the pool. Aqua Zumba is more intense as you need to make your moves inside water.
- Strong by Zumba: Zumba does not provide much strength benefits, but the new program Strong by Zumba is a high-intensity hybrid workout that brings together dancing with strength workouts. It involves routines like push-ups, squats, and lunges choreographed on the tune of beats.
The Zumba dance fitness program starts with slow music and gradually increases intensity over time. This helps you to burn calories, enhance cardiovascular health, and improve coordination and balance. Below mentioned are some of the health benefits of Zumba dance classes.
#1 Burn Calories and Fat
Zumba involves the entire body’s movement. You will move everything right from your hands to feet. Also, the dance routine is pretty quick and simple. Hence, Zumba can help you burn calories and reduce fat. You can expect to burn anywhere between 500 to 800 calories in an hour. The entire body routine eliminates the stress on muscles and improves your fitness.
#2 Improve Cardiovascular Fitness
It is essential to keep your heart in good shape, and Zumba dance helps you with just that. Dance moves in Zumba makes your heart pump faster. The quick movements from the Zumba routine forces you to breathe hard; this, in turn, makes your lungs to add more oxygen into the blood, which gets circulated throughout your body. The more you breathe, the higher your energy level goes and keeps you fit.
#3 Enhance Core Endurance
Your core endurance will increase if you continue to do Zumba dance regularly, as almost every muscle of your body moves during the dance workout and your core has to work continuously to stabilize the body.
#4 Control/Decrease Blood Pressure
Obesity makes one, more vulnerable to high blood pressure. The more your body weight increases, the more you will likely catch hypertension (high blood pressure). Even a small amount of weight loss can make a significant difference in the risk of getting hypertension. Since Zumba dance helps reduce weight, they are among the best ways to control/decrease blood pressure.
#5 Psychological Benefits
Zumba also has psychological benefits. It is a fun workout. Since you will be focusing on music and your steps during the Zumba dance workout, you will most likely forget all your tension. This will reduce mental pressure and help relieve stress. While working out, the body releases endorphins, and endorphins make one happy! Zumba will also make you more active socially. All the workouts are performed in groups. Hence, you can easily interact with other people around you.
#6 Workout Entire Body
While people do take the help of a routine choreography, there is no right or wrong way to do Zumba. The prime focus for anyone who participates is to move their body as quickly and swiftly as possible. This requires movement throughout the body. Put simply, Zumba dance gives a workout to your entire body.
#7 Improves Metabolism
The entire body workout and general health benefits of Zumba help improve your metabolism. The workout enhances your blood circulation, thereby improving your metabolism and immunity.
#8 Long-term Engagement
Harder than starting any form of exercise is to continue doing it. The results you get out of any workout routine is how much dedication and consistency you show. Traditional workouts can become a bore if you are not a fitness freak. However, Zumba, on the other hand, is a fun exercise to do. This helps you keep engaged for a more extended period for better results.
Zumba dance offers several benefits, but it’s not all pluses. Along with the advantages, you also need to be aware of the disadvantages of Zumba. Here are some of the cons of Zumba dance.
#1 May Suffer Dehydration
Zumba has a quick routine to follow. You will move almost every muscle in your body while performing the Zumba dance. This will cause a lot of sweating, and a lot of movement with little breaks, leading to dehydration if you don’t drink enough water while dancing.
#2 Hard to Learn and Remember
Zumba dance is inspired by Latin dance styles that need coordination and rhythm. Hence, it can be challenging to perform. Also, the routine is fast and makes remembering the steps a challenge for you. This can lead to wrong movements that can be risky for your bones and muscles.
#3 Does not Improve Muscle Strength
Zumba dance is undoubtedly one of the best ways to improve your aerobic endurance, but it does not provide much benefit in terms of muscle strength. You need weighted exercises to gain strength.
An effective Zumba dance routine will help you to tone your body efficiently. But, it is imperative to understand that Zumba alone will not get you in shape. Hence, you should opt for a routine that involves both Zumba dance and traditional strength exercises. A combined routine will help improve your overall fitness, which in turn will help you to lead a long and healthy life. So, if you love dancing and are looking to get back into shape, join a Zumba fitness program. Keep dancing and keep enjoying it!x