Its Fun…Its Fitness..Its Zumba!
Who says getting fit can’t be fun?
The Zumba fitness craze has taken the world by storm and its popularity has landed on the Arabian shores. Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin (Samba, Salsa, Merengue) and international (Hip Hop, Hindi, Arab) music with dance moves and exercise. Zumba routines incorporate interval training — alternating between fast and slow rhythms — resistance training, squats and lunges for a fitness regimen that is as much fun as it is effective.
As an aerobic activity, Zumba can count towards the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity required for most healthy adults by the Department of Health and Human Services. Aerobic exercise is recommended by physicians because it reduces health risks, keeps excess pounds at bay, strengthens your heart and boosts your mood. If you enjoy Zumba, you’re also more likely to do it regularly — and thus experience its benefits as an aerobic exercise.
As with any exercise, if a certain movement or position hurts, try to modify the workout to avoid the aggravating activities. Also, anytime you’re training with resistance, remember that proper techniques are important. Don’t get so caught up in your dancing that you forget proper form!
The Growth of Zumba
Zumba was born from an accident when Colombian-born Alberto “Beto” Perez was teaching an aerobics class in his native Cali in 1986 and discovered that he had forgotten his usual music. So he dug through his bag of tapes and grabbed a mix of salsa and meringue music that he personally liked to dance to.
“I just said, ‘Class today is different,'” says Perez, 37, who was also a dance instructor. “Everybody loved it.”
Zumba’s success grew steadily after Perez moved first to Bogota, Colombia and later to Miami. Today, there are an estimated 4 million Zumba enthusiasts and 25,000 instructors in 40 countries, according to Alberto Perlman, CEO of Zumba Fitness and one of the partners who helped Beto rebrand Zumba into its current global success.
Is Zumba an Effective Fitness Exercise?
Dancing is always fun. But how effective is Zumba as a fitness programme?
A study undertaken by a group of researchers from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science, led by John Porcari and Mary Luettgen on 19 healthy female volunteers aged 18-22 with previous Zumba participation experience suggests that fun aside, Zumba fitness is a highly effective workout.
Dr Porcari further explains that Zumba is a total body exercise, and a good, high energy, aerobic workout. It’s also good for core strengthening and flexibility gains as there are lots of hip and midsection movements.
An average of 369 calories can be burned per class, hence Zumba fitness is a great choice for those wishing to shed a few kilos or maintain current weight levels. In comparison with other exercises tested in the past at the same research facility, Zumba burns more calories than cardio kickboxing, step aerobics, hooping and power yoga. What’s even more surprising is that irrespective of one’s fitness level, Dr Porcari’s research showed that in Zumba classes everyone works out at their own comfort zone and that is recommended for improving cardio health.
In short, Zumba fitness is an effective interval style, full body workout with built in variety.
So why wait? Come on, join the fun, get fit..lets Zumba