Developed in the 90’s by a Colombian dancer and choreographer, Zumba Classes are now one of the most popular dance-inspired exercise classes in the world, with an estimated 15 million people doing weekly Zumba class. The moves in a Zumba class are taken from a huge variety of different dance disciplines, including cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop, axé and tango.
A typical class
The workout tones the body by using repetitive, resistance exercises which work in a way similar to interval training due to the varying speeds at which the routines are performed. This makes it a fun and uncomplicated way to learn quite difficult dance moves and means you need relatively little dance skill to get into Zumba.
One class can burn between 500 and 1000 calories and many different styles of Zumba class have evolved, making it one of the most accessible forms of dance fitness around and allowing instructors to add their own unique flavour to their classes.
What are the benefits?
It’s fun. The more you enjoy your exercise routine, the more likely you are to stick with it. Many people say they have so much fun dancing that they forget they are actually exercising.
Great for weight loss. Zumba is a powerful exercise with a 600 to 1,000-calorie burn in just an hour.
Tones your entire body. You may feel sore in places you never knew existed, but it gets results. Zumba targets lots of different muscle groups at once for total body toning.
Boosts your heart health. You not only get aerobic benefits (it really gets your heart rate up), you also get anaerobic benefits – the kind that help you maintain a good cardiovascular respiratory system.
Helps you de-stress. Turning your attention to dance, and away from the daily grind, is a great way to relieve stress. Studies show that exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function.
Improves coordination. In Zumba, your arms and legs are generally moving in different directions so it requires a good deal of coordination. Repeated practice improves coordination and helps you feel more comfortable moving your body.
Makes you happy. Every time you exercise, you release endorphins, which trigger positive feelings throughout the body.