Zumba is the new, high-intensity workout that fuses Latin dance with hip-hop and a cardio workout that will have you burning 400+ calories per hour. With an interesting class format that keeps you moving for the entire hour, this workout is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. The benefits of Zumba are not only physical. It can help to ease your mind and increase confidence as well.
What to Expect from a Zumba Class
Zumba classes are unlike any other cardio classes. In most cardio classes, the instructor shows a set of moves and explains things and talks to the members as the class goes on. Breaks are also taken in between exercises in cardio classes for water and to avoid exertion. In Zumba, however, once the class starts, you don't stop moving until the class is over. The instructor usually has a mix of music that will last an hour, or however long the class is. Starting with a simple dance that constitutes a warm-up, the instructor does not talk at all during the entire class. Instead, he or she shows the class what to do with hand signals and with his or her own dancing. The class is expected to follow along. The movements often repeat themselves during different portions of the music, so it is easy to keep up and learn new moves. During one Zumba session, you might do some Latin-based dance movements as well as some hip-hop and other dances like belly dancing. All of these movements work together to give you a full workout that not only works your muscles but also gets your heart racing. If you've never done Zumba or have never danced before, never fear. The class isn't about being a great dancer. It's about doing a good workout and having fun. No one is going to judge you, so jump in!
Cardio Fitness Benefits
There are obvious benefits to a Zumba class. You are working to raise your heart rate and do a good cardio workout. There are no weights involved, so the entire workout is cardio based. However, with squats and arm movements built in to the dance movements, you will feel soreness in your muscles when you are done working out like you would with weight training.
If you are wearing a heart rate monitor, you can see that, depending on how intense you are with the movements, you can burn much more than 400 calories in an hour, which is a huge fitness benefit. The great thing about Zumba is that it is different every time. Every class holds a new set of dance moves, and every instructor brings something new to the dance floor. Also, you can do whatever feels good for your body.
If you have an injury or are just starting to dance or work out, you can take it easy for a while and test out moves to see what your body can handle. Once you feel ready, then you can up your workout by upping the intensity.
Dancing has many additional benefits aside from burning calories. First, it's just plain fun. Moving your body in new ways can help you explore movement and range of motion. It can also help with your posture. Becoming a good dancer requires great posture and, therefore, you will have to consciously have to maintain good posture during your workout. The best benefit of all is building confidence and self-esteem. Through Zumba, or any dance, you will feel good about yourself and that will get carried forward in your life, on and off the dance floor.