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Zumba Dance Your Way to Fitness

Updated on February 21, 2013

What is Zumba?

Zumba is an increasingly popular Latin and International dance inspired exercise program. Given our increasingly sedentary life styles, and the the rising obesity epidemic, everybody recognizes the importance of incorporating exercise into our lives. However, although many people start the New Year by taking out a gym membership, many stop attending the gym regularly by the end of January. The repetitive nature of many gym sessions, or exercise programs, bores many a would-be fitness fanatic. The great popularity of zumba is probably due that the highly energetic workouts, done to lively and loud music, are great fun, and even described as exhilarating by many people.

The Origins of Zumba

Zumba was 'invented' by dancer Alberto 'Beto' Perez, and like most good discoveries, owes its origins to a mistake. In 1986 Perez was teaching an aerobics class in Columbia, when he discovered that he had forgetten to bring the taped music for the class. Instead he used tapes that he happened to have with him, which happened to be Latin salsa music, and improvised for his aerobics class. Since it was very successful he developed the idea further. Zumba comprises dance and aerobic elements done to the beat of a mixtrue of International music including, salsa, samba, hip-hop and belly dance. In the 1990s he brought the new exercise program with him to the United States, where he joined 2 of his friends to popularize it.

Zumba classes led by specially trained instructors can now be found in most cities. Variations such as aqua zumba, which is done in a swimming pool are also available. Zumba can also be done in one's home, there is even a wii game for it.

Zumba on Wii

How Many Calories does Zumba burn?

As you can see from the videos above, Zumba consists of pretty energetic aerobic and tonic routines. It is often said that a person doing an hour of zumba will burn 500-1000 calories. According to the online zumba calorie caclulator, a 140 lb person, doing a moderately intense workout for an hour will burn 500 calories. Of-course the fat-burning benefits of doing exercise are far greater than just the calories used in a workout, because of increased metabolism, you will go on burning claories long after your zumba session is over


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    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      I love the Zumba info-commercials. I think any exercise that qualifies as fun and aerobic makes the journey of losing weight more consistent. It's not the same as walking two miles around a park. Dancing is fun and three hours of it does burn a lot of calories. Thanks for the hub.