Zumba: great cardio or a waste of time?

I recently tried Zumba for the very first time and I was surprised at what a great time I had. I was sweating my way through the entire class and using my brain to follow the instructor as well. The class was fun because I was dancing and dancing is always fun for me, and the music was upbeat and everyone in the class was really into it and having a good time as well. The instructor was upbeat and had such amazing energy that it made me want to match that energy and dance my heart out. I had to concentrate and use my brain because I didn’t know the moves at all before class and I think that added an element to the workout. The dancing wasn’t just some easy two-step kind of dancing it was tough and used every piece of the body imaginable, it was truly a great full body workout. I was super sore after my first class, we did a lot of body rolls, booty shaking and arm circles. We did the salsa, the cha-cha and other Latin dances I have never heard of and I had a big ole smile on my face the whole time. In a study done at the University of Wisconsin, published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, researchers examined the average exercise intensity and energy expenditure during an hour of Zumba class. 19 women volunteered for the study and each of the women preformed a treadmill test before starting the study to determine their measurement of heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise. After the treadmill test all of the women participated in a Zumba class while wearing a heart monitor. The study found that the participants during the Zumba class were improving their cardiovascular fitness and were in the correct range of the fitness level they should be working within. A lot of people think that Zumba is just some easy dance class or passing fad that doesn’t work the way other exercises do. After reading this research I will definitely start implementing Zumba into my fitness routine because it is a great form of cardio and now I know it works effectively. If you haven’t tried Zumba yet, I highly recommend taking a class, you won’t be disappointed.

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