Everybody knows that they feel great after a Zumba class, but you might be a little less sure of exactly why this is.
This article has been put together to give you a detailed breakdown of the benefits of Zumba.
The point of this? It’s extremely motivating to know the reasons about why Zumba is so beneficial for your mind, body and spirit.
Although it’s very unlikely with Zumba, if you ever need a little extra push to ensure you actually do your workout, then this list will keep you on track.
10 Benefits of Zumba
1. Brain Boosting
Did you know that dance provides what’s known as a ‘pleasure double play’? No? Well, what this means is that music activates the part of the brain associated with feelings of reward, while dance stimulates the regions of the brain to do with its sensory and motor circuits.
So put them both together and what do you get? A pleasure double play!
But that’s not all. A scientific study in 2003 showed that only dance, out of 11 physical activities, lowered participants’ risk of dementia.
And as we all know, Zumba’s advanced routines can be quite complex. So it should be no surprise that it’s been scientifically proven by a 2012 study undertaken by North Dakota’s Minot State University, that Zumba specifically improves your cognitive skills – including decision-making and visual recognition.
2. Stress Busting
Feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Zumba could be your answer. It’s not a secret that exercise can relieve stress but Zumba is particularly helpful on this front. Why? Because it’s fast paced, through movement, you’ll be burning away the stress hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine.
On top of that, Zumba generates a great supply of endorphins, which are morphine-like hormones, which give you that feel-good high that Zumba is so famous for. You’ll also get a hefty dose of some of the body’s other wellbeing chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin.
All in all, Zumba is an effective and fast-acting stress buster, which transforms your biochemistry to make you forget your anxieties and woes.
3. Improved Heart Health
Did you know that when you Zumba, you’re usually dancing to tunes that have 145 beats per minute? That’s pretty fast!
Which means, if you’re moving anywhere near as fast as the music, your heart will be working hard too. This means Zumba is an aerobic exercise – because it’s making your heart beat faster than when it’s at rest. The benefits of aerobic exercise are hard to miss: you’ll have better circulation; more energy; and a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
However, most important is the fact that aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs, which in turn improves your body’s use of oxygen. What it all boils down to is that a Zumba workout is extremely good news for your heart and having a healthy heart is extremely good news for your life.
4. Get rid of your body fat
If your body has a little more fat than feels good, then Zumba is an excellent way to tone up. The best way to do this is combining fat burning exercises with weight resistance exercises that build muscle.
As we already now know, Zumba is an aerobic exercise. In order for exercise to be fat burning, you need it to be aerobic. Higher intensity aerobic exercise torches more calories and as a result, more fat. When Zumba gets fast – and it does get fast – this will activate your body’s fat burning mechanisms.
Then add Zumba Toning to the mix – those Zumba routines which use Zumba toning sticks for muscle resistance, and are specifically designed to firm up abs, thighs and glutes – and prepare to be amazed. With Zumba weight loss, you won’t believe how quickly you’ll replace your fat with a slinky wiggle.
5. You can do it at home
Going to live classes is great, but sometimes it can be a drag to have to travel to get your Zumba fix. So it’s very lucky that there’s a huge range of Zumba products, which mean you can still Zumba away to your heart’s content, but in the comfort of your own home.
Check out the many Zumba DVD sets that offer you a wealth of routines, or have a look online for free Zumba classes.
6. Zumba gives you confidence
One of the most anecdotally reported benefits of Zumba is its effect on people’s confidence levels. There could be several reasons for this. Most likely, you feel more confident because you either have lost weight, flooded your physical system with emotionally feel-good chemicals or have mastered some pretty tricky routines. Any or all of these achievements will boost your self-esteem and give you faith in yourself.
7. Having fun is habit forming
It’s been said that successful people are simply those with successful habits. Habits are activities that are repeated regularly and consistently, but which you don’t have to think about doing.
Exercise is a habit that contributes to a healthy, happy and successful life, but it can be very hard to make it stick. Many of us encounter a lot of mental resistance to exercising on a regular basis.
But with Zumba, it’s different. Many people report becoming absolutely addicted to Zumba because it’s such crazy good fun. This means it’s more likely to become a regular fixture because, instead of fighting your inclination to cancel, you’ll find yourself craving your Zumba fix and doing whatever you need to get it.
8. Zumba keeps your skeleton happy
A good posture is important to have efficient, safe movement. Sitting and working in front of a screen, as many of us do these days, makes it easier to slump and more difficult to maintain a good posture. Zumba is a whole body workout that helps us become more aware of our posture.
Beyond this, because Zumba is a weight bearing exercise – which specifically means that you’re exercising bearing your own weight, rather than handheld weights – it’s a fantastic preventative measure against osteoporosis.
Why’s that? Because weight-bearing exercises put a compressing force, which is generated by your weight and how quickly you move that weight, on your bones. When this happens, bone density increases, which keeps your bones strong and decreases your likelihood of osteoporosis.
9. Better quality sleep
The truth is, many of us aren’t sleeping so well these days. There are countless ways to let our sleep get compromised.
Zumba, however, can help you develop better sleeping patterns.
How? Well, science has shown that aerobic exercise contributes to better sleep and one of the reasons might be that to sleep, the body needs to experience a drop in temperature. As Zumba raises the body’s temperature, once you’ve finished your workout your temperature starts to drop again, which may make you feel more sleepy than usual.
Plus of course, the fact that the cardio aspect of Zumba means your large muscles will have been working hard and your heart pumping faster than usual. These are also contributing factors to a better night’s sleep. So if you want some proper shut-eye, get Zumba-ing.
10. There’s no right or wrong way to Zumba
Nothing is more of a buzz kill than feeling you’re really bad at something. Sure, there are those Zumba pros who’ve practiced so hard that they can shimmy around, swiveling their hips and generally looking like dance royalty.
But for the rest of the population who aren’t in that camp, we can all take heart that Beto, the founder of Zumba himself, has been quoted as saying “there’s no right or wrong way to do it”!. So if you’re feeling a little out of step, simply throw in some squats and keep your arms up high and you’ll still be getting into the groove. Or, as someone else commented, Zumba makes non-dancers into dancers. So…what are you waiting for?
Wrapping It Up
Zumba is a shortcut for enhancing practically every aspect of your life.
It really is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to exercise without feeling like they’re exercising, or who loves the fact that having fun is also contributing so significantly to their health and wellbeing.
Whether you’re looking to understand the physical or emotional advantages or want to experience the famed Zumba weight loss, this article gives you all the facts about the top 10 benefits of Zumba.
So, if you want to look great, feel amazing and whip yourself into shape without getting bored, put your Zumba shoes on and go dance!