The American Council on Exercise commissioned a team to investigate Zumba. Sure it’s fun, but does it produce results worthy of calling it a formal exercise?
Researchers, Porcari and Luettgen, set out to nail down the average energy expenditure and exercise intensity during one Zumba class on average. This means what actually happens for the participants in a class. They decided to use women since they are the most common participants, they accepted 19 who were basically healthy and within the ages of 18 to 22 years old. These women were ones who had already done Zumba.
As most, the researchers needed to get a base line of personal fitness. Each women did a treadmill test that measured their heart rate and oxygen consumption. These two pieces are key because the relationship between the heart rate and the oxygen consumption gives the key to seeing metabolism and the effect of Zumba upon it.
Ultimately the subjects took a Zumba class after the treadmill test. One Zumba class was found to burn over 350 calories. What was interesting was the way Zumba created an interval experience with high intensity going to lower intensity, and back again. This type of exercise has in other forms been the best way to burn more calories.
With the flexible structure of Zumba the researchers found all participants able to keep the interval rates going, raising the heart rate, then recovering, raising the heart rate, then recovering.
This gave solid evidence for the bottom line – which you’ll find in our in our next article.