By Miwana Sargent, Zumba Instructor & Personal Trainer
"Ditch the Workout, Join the Party"
This mantra from Zumba explains to individuals that Zumba is more than just working out. Zumba is more than lifting weights at high or low reps and it’s more than running for miles to increase your cardiovascular system. Zumba allows for individuals to train at a high rate while making it enjoyable... therefore joining the "Party".
Zumba is a great way to increase your quality of life. It allows for great and unexpected benefits for individuals of various age groups and body shapes. Zumba is a very inclusive style of working out that allows for everyone to benefit from it. Zumba was first introduced into the United States in 1999 but its origins date back all the way to the 80's in Columbia. Their "Ditch the Workout, Join the Party" and inclusiveness mantra began before we even thought to think about working out and individuals in a different light. This innovative method of working out is great for not only physical health, but mental health, as well.
Let's explore some of those various health benefits.
1) Burn Calories
All of us know that working out burns calories but exactly how many calories are you burning when you take a Zumba class? On average an individual burns between 600 - 1,000 calories per 60 minutes of Zumba. Like anything in life, the amount of calories you burn is up to you. If you put in 110% in one class you will obviously burn more calories than someone who puts in 50% effort. The aerobic and interval training that this workout provides allows you to work every inch of your body. Within the sixty minutes of this class, you will work out your core, glutes, legs, arms and back. It’s a FULL BODY workout.
2) Increase Metabolism & Endurance
As many of us age, so does our metabolism. In saying that, I mean while our bodies are maturing and aging, our metabolism begins to slow down. It becomes more difficult for us to burn away fat and calories. Along with our metabolism slowing down, our endurance also begins to decrease. Staying active is always a great way to increase your metabolism and endurance. Zumba's music selection can take on many beats, whether it is the sounds of Samba, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc. every song has its very own beat. To put it into perspective, the majority of songs used by instructors have 145 beats per minute. These instructors coordinate moves to the certain beat of each song. In other words, a song moving at a fast pace, will make for a Zumba workout that also moves at a fast pace; which leads to the increasing of an individual’s heart rate. An increased heart rate leads to a better workout and also strengthens the heart and heart muscles.
3) Boost Mood & Confidence
According to the ADAA, "40 million adults who are 18 years of age or older within the United States suffer from anxiety disorders and depression." That means that 18.1% of the population is affected by these every year. So it’s safe to say that, not only do we have to care for our physical well-being, but we also have to care for our mental well-being. Zumba’s "Ditch the Workout, Join the Party" attitude, might just be what many Americans need. I can speak from experience and I am sure other can attest to the fact that Zumba, in one way or another, has changed their lives. Every time that you walk within those class doors you are able to let go of your daily stressors and dance-it-out. Music, I have learned, plays a vital role in mood changes. The songs that are played during Zumba classes are mood & confidence-boosters that are specifically-chosen by instructors. You may be asking yourselves, how do these songs have this type of an effect on people? An individual who has taken my class answers that question very simply. "Zumba has allowed me to come out of me shell". My classes are aimed at just that; making people's days better, while pushing them to do more than they thought they could.
4) Health Improvements
I believe that this is the most important benefit that Zumba provides. Above, we spoke a lot about the different physical and mental benefits of Zumba, but we did not go in-depth about those health benefits. In short, Zumba's approach to working out affects many individuals with many different health concerns. Whether you are overweight, have diabetes, or struggle with your mental health, Zumba is your guiding-hand through it all. It allows you to build muscle, while decreasing your blood sugar, and increasing your energy level. It also lowers your risk of heart disease, because you are constantly strengthening that muscle within the 60-minute class. It can additionally help reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
Zumba can be a life changing experience for truly anyone. It’s a fun and new approach to the regular exercises that we have come to know. So if you find yourself wanting to try something new, take a Zumba class and "Join the Party".