By now, you have inevitably heard about the Zumba fitness craze. What makes this workout routine so special, and so much fun for so many people? Why are people still flocking to these classes when they need to get some exercise? We cover everything about Zumba fitness below so you can learn more about it, and to help you decide if it’s something that you would like to try to switch up your workout routine and make it more interesting.
So Many Different Workout Options!
Over the past two decades there have been thousands of new fitness programs developed to help curb the growing obesity rates. The various types of programs and ability levels vary as much as we do as individuals. The idea behind the fitness craze has been to find a way to encourage people to be active, without them actually feeling like they are exercising.
Most programs fall into one of three categories:
- Some involve controlled movements performed in repetitions that focus on core areas
- Others are more zen-like that concentrate on toning and relaxation
- Some are high energy choreographed dance routines that work nearly every muscle in your body, like Zumba
A Little Bit of Zumba Fitness History
Zumba was discovered in the late 1990’s but wasn’t founded until 2001. In fact, the creator, Alberto Perez created the fitness program accidentally. Perez was an aerobics instructor that showed up unprepared to teach his class by leaving his typical aerobic music behind. Improvising, Perez utilized salsa and merengue inspired musical selections he had in his backpack. This musical mishap initiated a frenzy and left people wanting more. Today there are over 14 million people from 150 different countries that participate in Zumba classes.
What Are Zumba Fitness Classes Like?
Zumba goers typically attend weekly classes facilitated by a licensed instructor. These classes are usually an hour long, but some may vary. In each 60 minute session people dance to choreographed routines that target different muscle systems over the course of the session.
The music is upbeat and can be a slow ballad, or a fast paced hip-hop routine. Some of the different genres of music include samba, hip-hop, salsa, meringue, belly dancing, chacha, and reggae.
Some of the dance moves that increase workout efficiency and weight loss include martial arts, lunges, squats, new Bollywood moves and resistance techniques for both weight loss and toning purposes.
The best part is that, in one 60 minute Zumba fitness class, people can burn between 500 and 1000 calories.
A Few of the Main Benefits of Zumba
According to Piedmont Healthcare, there are many benefits that can be derived from a Zumba class, beyond burning a lot of calories.
- Cardiovascular benefits – This is a fun cardio workout that gets your heart rate pumping, and that can help your heart and your lungs stay strong.
- Muscle development – If you’re tired of lifting weights to build muscle, you’ll be happy to learn that Zumba can help tone your body by targeting various muscle groups. From your upper body to your lower body, you might be surprised by where you feel sore the next day because this workout routine is great at working your muscles.
- Mood boost – In addition to physically benefitting your health, Zumba classes can also help you feel better mentally and emotionally because, each time you work out, your body will release what are known as endorphins, and you’ll feel really good as a result. So, when you’re stressed or unhappy, give Zumba a try, as you might find that your mood improves.
- Enhance your coordination – Do you tend to feel a little uncoordinated? Then working out at a Zumba class might be just what you need. This workout routine can help improve your coordination, and you might be surprised by the ways you learn to move your body.
Ultimately, Zumba fitness classes are wonderful opportunities to take some time to care for your body, to unwind and have some fun, to release stress, and to improve your strength and coordination.
What a lot of people really love about this particular type of workout routine is the fact that it doesn’t really feel like a workout because it is so enjoyable. And, because it is so different from the many other traditional workout routines, from cardio sessions to weightlifting routines, that are out there, Zumba can be a fabulous choice to keep things interesting.
The Different Types of Zumba Classes
Zumba has also been transforming since the dawn of its existence. There are currently different levels of Zumba fitness designed to cater to different levels of experience and ability and has been deemed safe for all ages.
Alberto Perez realized that not everyone could participate to their full potential and designed different workouts for targeted age or ability ranges. He chose to keep the music consistent, but altered the moves and intensity levels to reach out to a wide range of people.
One Zumba fitness program designed for seniors is referred to as Zumba Gold. There is also a Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba (for the pool), Zumba Circuit, Zumba Sentao (a chair workout), and a newer initiative called Zumbatomic. Zumbatomic is designed to encourage children ages 4 to 12 to be active.
Find a Zumba Studio, or Work Out at Home!
In addition to the nearly 150,000 locations to attend Zumba classes there are other means to access this famous fitness program without leaving your home. Zumba Fitness launched a line of fitness routines available on DVD. This makes it readily accessible for people who cannot make the class or don’t feel comfortable exercising in the presence of others. Zumba is also available in video game format where it can bring fun and exercise to the whole family!