Zumba dance (pronounced Zoomba) is popping up everywhere. Zumba is a form of aerobic dance exercise that combines easy to follow fast dance moves with slower moves, allowing participants of all ages to enjoy its benefits. Students get an interval training workout that tones muscles and burns calories while they exercise to the heart pumping beat of salsa, samba, merengue and other types of Latin and international music.
Zumba Fitness History
Zumba’s rise to popularity began when Columbian born dancer and choreographer Beto Perez brought his workout classes to a fitness center in Miami, Florida. Students loved the music, the rhythmic steps, and Perez’s energy. Soon Zumba DVDs and classes were springing up everywhere.
Today there are licensed Zumba exercise instructors in 35 countries around the globe, making it easy for prospective students to find a class near them. But for those who prefer to exercise at home, Zumba DVDs are a great and effective alternative. In addition, 2010 may just become the year of Zumba as Nintendo introduces its Zumba Wii Fit game.
For those who have an aversion to exercise, or are reluctant to get moving, Zumba may provide the needed encouragement. The tempo of the music, it seems, is difficult to resist. Instructors claim that a Zumba workout is more like a dance party than like exercise, which may account for Zumba’s explosive popularity.
Zumba Help Weight Loss?
A Body in Motion
Zumba is a very good cardiovascular activity. The body is always shifting, stepping and dancing in rhythmic cadence. This causes a high caloric expenditure which leads to weight loss. Factor in the fact that there is little recovery time and the body has no choice but to burn a lot of calories.
Bring in The Weigthts
Part of the Zumba workout involves the addition of weights. This is twofold. It increases the energy expenditure while simultaneously toning and strengthening the muscles. Muscle is very metabolically active, so this will cause more overall calorie expenditure.
Zumba is done in an interval fashion. This means that there are slow and fast rhythms being incorporated. The slower rhythms are the rest periods. This type of training has been known to burn more calories and also raise the body’s metabolism for hours after the event.
Fun Before It’s Done
A lot of times conventional exercise can be boring. This more often than not can lead to burnout and cause people to stop altogether. That is where Zumba differs. Being that it is “out of the box” and so different than the average step aerobics classes, people are generally left thirsting for more. When something is fun and interesting, adherence rates go up and weight goes down.
Zumba can also help aid weight loss because it creates discipline. When an exercise routine becomes habitual and people enjoy it, this will bleed into other aspects of their lives that can further increase weight loss, such as diet. It is like a built in accountability factor that is going to make them stay on top of their eating habits and make only one trip to the buffet table instead of three.
Lose Weight Tips with Zumba Dance
The Zumba formula is based on easy-to-follow Latin and international dance steps mixed with heart-pumping cardiovascular exercise moves. Each class is one hour of “calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate you for life!” according to the Zumba Fitness company, which says the moves promote weight loss.
- Find a Zumba class near you by going to the zumba.com and entering your zip code. Try several classes in your area if possible, especially if the one you try first is either too difficult or too easy. Zumba instructors are able to gear their classes to their clientele, and each one has her own style and level of difficulty.
- Dress appropriately for your Zumba fitness class. Zumba is a dance class, but also a fitness class. Wear comfortable sneakers or dance shoes in which you can move freely. Wear comfortable workout gear, like a T-shirt and sweat pants.
- To get the benefit of weight loss doing Zumba, attend at least four Zumba classes each week. Each Zumba class, which uses the principles of interval and resistance training, can help you burn 500 to 800 calories (or more), depending on your body and the intensity of the class. Practice the Zumba moves at home by dancing to Latin music, using the Zumba DVD’s, or finding some clips on the Internet. This will help you get more comfortable with the moves and burn more calories.
- Follow the Zumba Fitness weight loss plan by adhering to a healthy low-fat, low-calorie diet. (For sample workouts and meal plans, refer to the book “Zumba: Ditch the Workout, Join the Party! The Zumba Weight Loss Program” by Beto Perez. It contains charts and information about calories and healthy food choices so you can structure your meals to attain weight loss.)
- Keep an exercise and food journal. The Zumba Fitness plan suggests writing down your weight-loss goals and accomplishments. It also recommends noting your Zumba class schedule on a calendar and keeping a written record of everything you eat each day.