Zumba is quite the craze these days. It has become such a main stay that over 110,000 places in more than 120 countries will offer classes that are in turn packed. More than twelve million people reportedly attend weekly Zumba group exercise sessions.
For good reason too. The popular marketing slogan for Zumba is, ‘Ditch the Workout—Join the Party!’ And it is quite true. With the Latin music and fusion of fun dance moves you can feel the warm South American blood run through you even if you are German. The music changes beat to the sensitive ear and the exercise moves from Flamenco to Reggae to Merengue and Salsa. It is like an choreographed night club under bright lights.
While some group aerobic exercise relies highly on getting in sync with the intricate steps to accomplish its goal, Zumba is more gracious. The encouragement by the instructors is to do what you can do, and interpret the moves in your own way.
One of the advantages is that you will keep your heart rate higher because you can keep going and not slow down to get a step ‘correct.’
This makes Zumba fun…but is it effective as a workout routine? Not much research has been done yet so the American Council on Exercise commissioned the investigation to begin.
A number of experts were drawn into the research with a John P. Porcari, Ph.D. at the lead. Others included were Mary Luettgen, M. S., Carl Foster, Ph.D., Jose Rodriquez-Morroyo, Ph.D. and Richard Mikat, Ph.D.
What were the results? Good news to come in the next article…