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Does Zumba Work for Weight Loss? Zumba Calories Burned, Benefits and Myths
Lots of people swear by Zumba for weight loss, but does it really work?
The answer is of course yes, Zumba can help you lose weight but the important thing to realize is that the dance sessions are no magic fix for dropping pounds, it just happens to come in a package that most people don’t detest; instead of slaving away on a treadmill, you get to spend an hour or so dancing with friends and strangers to loud music. Because people find the classes fun, they keep attending, and that is what makes it work. My theory is that whatever gets you moving is good, and if it keeps you coming back because you enjoy it, even better.
If you want to use Zumba for weight loss, or if you’ve already been trying and haven’t seen the numbers on the scale budge yet, there could be several reasons why.
The problems with Zumba for weight loss
Not all classes are equally intense; you may be getting much less of a workout than other Zumba-ers.
I’ve done it a handful of times, I’m not a huge fan of it but it can be a good way to break up the monotony of the gym. Different instructors (and different gyms) have different class formats, songs, and dances, which leads to varying intensity levels when it comes to energy expenditure. In short, I have been to classes where in an hour and a half I break a sweat, and really get my heart rate up. It feels like a workout and it’s fun. The majority of the times I’ve tried it, however, I find that in 90 minutes, the dance moves have me barely moving, I haven’t broke a sweat, and I’ve got enough spare oxygen that I’m literally yawning.
If you’re trying to lose weight with the dance classes, be aware of how challenging it is for your own fitness level. If the Zumba classes you’re taking don’t get your heart rate up and you don’t feel challenged, don’t expect to start dropping weight just because you’re present for the class for an hour or two. It is a great starting place for those new to working out but you may need something more intense as you get more fit, depending on the difficulty of class.
Zumba does NOT burn 1000 calories an hour
The Zumba 1000 calories an hour myth is untrue and a misleading hype that is unfair for those who are truly trying to drop weight. Read More
There’s no strength training component to Zumba.
Strength training is important for many reasons; a toned body that burns more calories at rest being among the more superficial motivators. It also prevents bone density loss, reduces chances of injury, improves posture, joint health, and the ability of the body’s muscles to support those joints, just to name a few benefits. If you want to use it for losing extra pounds, make sure and incorporate a strength training component as well and you will likely see that you lose weight faster.
Check out Fitness Blender Workout Videos to find home workouts that use bodyweight moves to build strength and tone the body.
What is Zumba?
It is a Latin inspired dance fitness class that usually lasts between 60-90 minutes. Typically instructors start with a very short warm up (after calling out all of the “newbies” to the class) and then go straight into the dance portion where you will be expected to burn calories shaking your thang to the tune of a blend of Salsa and hip hop music. Don’t be intimidated if you “can’t dance”; the majority of Zumba dance classes take place in the dark, often even with a disco ball spinning lights across the room. Plus, you can take comfort in the law of physics that everyone looks foolish when they dance.
If you don’t feel comfortable dancing around in front of strangers, you can always try the Wii Zumba Fitness game in the comfort of your own living room. Here’s a list of other games that let you draw the blinds and work up a sweat; Wii Games for Weight Loss.
Short term or long term? I am a mind-body wellness coach and typically see clients who have yo-yoed on diets and exercise programs. Reason? They believed that a temporary change can give permanent weightloss.
But our body works on homeostasis. If you change your routine so that Zumba is now part of it, the body will change its energy consumption and hunger signals to reflect that change. Now if you lose weight (in the beginning it will just be water, mostly) and reach your ‘target weight’ and then close your zumba classes, you will probably still be as hungry as before. But not using as man…
I’m sure that a lot of you are already familiar with Zumba.
This fantastic workout grows in popularity more and more every single day, but I’m not sure that you know all there is to know about the amazing benefits of Zumba, one of most fun yet effective workout routines out there.
So, read on and learn how to spend your time wisely and think about the wonderful benefits of Zumba the next time you sign up for a fitness program.
- WEIGHT LOSS
In my opinion, one of the most important benefits of Zumba is, of course, the spectacular weight loss his new fitness craze can bring.
This extremely fun workout incorporates a lot of routines that will improve your cardiovascular system, which is extremely helpful in your fight to lose that unwanted weight.
Also, the average person will burn around 600 to 1000 calories in a Zumba class.
That’s quite a lot, right?
And the best part is that you won’t even notice all that effort it actually requires.
- BODY TONING
Another fabulous benefit of this type of workout is the fact that by practicing it, you’ll be able to tone your entire body in no time.
Because during a Zumba class, you are supposed to move your body to the rhythm of the music, your muscles will be engaged to make some specific moves like squats and twists, thus allowing you to tone your entire body without even realizing it.
- YOU’LL MAKE NEW FRIENDS
By attending 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.
In my opinion, Zumba is the perfect workout for anyone who wants to connect to other people, no matter how shy or outgoing you might be.
- IT’S UPBEAT AND FUN
Unlike the regular type of exercises most people do, Zumba combats boredom by making exercise upbeat and fun.
If you like music, you’ll surely enjoy this type of workout and you’ll surely love the upbeat and energetic atmosphere in your Zumba class.
You won’t even know when all that time has passed!
- THE PERFECT STRESS RELIEVER
Zumba is the perfect workout to take if you want to get rid of all that stress you accumulate during your every day.
I could say that, for me, it’s the perfect stress reliever and some people even think that it’s even better than therapy.
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.
- IMPROVED COORDINATION
By joining a Zumba class you’ll definitely improve your coordination, and if you didn’t already know, it is extremely important to have good coordination as you grow older.
Maybe this doesn’t seem so important to you right now, but you will appreciate it once you get older and you won’t suffer from the consequences of poor coordination.
- IT WORKS FOR EVERY AGE
Zumba is definitely the perfect type of workout for all ages ‘cause it combines a lot of fun elements, like music and those energetic movements with exercising.
There are even some Zumba programs designed especially for children called “Zumbatonic,” which helps them be aware of the amazing benefits of exercising from an early age, making them feel more active and healthy.
It’s also the perfect exercise for the elderly by helping them stay strong and supple.
- IMPROVED MOOD
A lot of research has discovered that exercising can help you produce those mood-improving endorphins.
Zumba is considered to be also one of the best ways to fight depression since a lot of studies have supported the fact that you must participate in cardiovascular exercise such as dancing (and Zumba is all about dancing) in order for the highest amounts of endorphins to be released in your body.
- GREATER CONFIDENCE
In my opinion, Zumba is also the best way to boost your 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 and appreciates more, the wonderful person that she is.
- REVS METABOLISM
When you build lean muscle mass and get your body used to the calorie burning that Zumba provides, you boost your metabolism.
That means your body is better at burning calories, even when you are at rest.
A sluggish metabolism makes it hard to achieve weight loss goals, so Zumba is a great way to get yours humming.
- IT’S ADDICTING
Refer to #4.
Because most people who discover Zumba fall in love with it as a form of exercise, it’s a great choice if you have trouble staying motivated to stick with an exercise routine.
Many women say they are hooked after only one class.
If you need that kind of motivation, find yourself a Zumba class today.
- IT’S CUSTOMIZABLE
You can’t expect to be as proficient at Zumba as the experts with just one class.
However, the great thing about the class is that it is customizable based on ability levels.
If you’re new to Zumba, look for a beginner class and work your way up to the advanced classes as you gain skills and confidence.
- IT’S FAST
They say that time flies when you’re having fun.
That makes Zumba your go to choice if you count the seconds the entire time you’re exercising.
If slogging through your workout is sometimes more than you can handle, try Zumba for all the benefits at a fast paced tempo that will make an hour fly by in seconds.
- BUILDS BODY AWARENESS
You know how you feel after you try a new workout, right?
You’re usually sore in places you didn’t know you had.
When you do Zumba, you gain awareness of your entire body because there isn’t an inch that doesn’t get attention when you dance.
This awareness is great for keeping your progress on track and noticing when certain parts of your body need more attention.
- CLASSES ARE EVERYWHERE
Sometimes I read about a great new exercise class, only to find out it’s only offered in New York City.
Since I don’t live there, it can be disappointing.
Not so with Zumba.
Most cities and states boast several places that offer Zumba classes for all skill levels.
Check your local rec center or gym for a class near you.
You won’t be let down!
I hope I convinced you to at least try going to a Zumba workout and you’ll see how addicted you will be afterwards to this wonderful fitness exercise.
Article repost from All Womens Talk
Areas It Targets
Core: Yes. Many of the dance steps used in the routines emphasize the hips and midsection to help strengthen the core.
Arms: No. Traditional Zumba classes do not target the arms. Specialized classes like Zumba Toning use weights to help strengthen and tone the arms.
Legs: Yes. The jumps and lunges that are parts of the choreographed movements help work the quads and hamstrings.
Glutes: Yes. You’ll feel the burn in your buns while you move to the beat.
Back: No. Though the workout involves your whole body, it’s not focused on your back muscles.