Greg Lohan

Does Zumba Live Up to the Hype?

Health Guidance

Everyone seems to love fad workouts. P90X, Intensity, Pilates, etc. all go through cycles of getting people on board with them. The latest crazy is Zumba. Zumba is dance workout placed with popular music and cardio dance moves. It feels great at the time and men and women are both invited to participate. There’s also been a ton of hearsay that it burns up to 900 calories per hour of dance. That’s not a bad number at all. But is it true? With all of the hype around Zumba, it’s hard to tell if it’s worth it. If you’re not sure whether you want to Zumba, consider this:

Calorie Burn

The big one, how many calories does it actually burn? The average is anywhere between 500-800 per hour at a class. This is if you’re going hard and actually following the steps. Some believe that it’s all water weight that rolls off of you, but truthfully you do end up burning a lot of calories.


Burn Calorie With Zumba
Burn Calorie With Zumba
Another benefit of doing Zumba is that it forces you to drink water. This is especially true for beginners. You are moving so much and sweating like crazy, so there’s really no way you wouldn’t. Most people go through at least one bottle, more likely two. That’s a lot of water. As we’ve all heard, water is one of the best things to help you lose weight. It keeps you hydrated, pushes things through your system, and has no caloric content. Water also fills your stomach, making you feel fuller. There’s very few things as sweet as something terrible that you shouldn’t have after a workout. But if you follow a diet and stick with water you can fight that urge and get something healthier while still feeling full. It’s also thought to believe that cold water speeds up your metabolism about 10 minutes after you drink it.


The biggest part of the hype is that Zumba is fun. You’re dancing, sure, but there are a lot of upbeat, modern songs used that you just don’t hear in cycling classes. The moves are heavily Latin based, but have expanded to include belly dancing and hip hop to keep them fresh. Probably the strangest thing about Zumba is that you go to a class completely unprepared. There’s no beginning choreography or instructional guide. This is very scary to a lot of people and they tend to not go because of it. Don’t let it deter you. It’s built to be followable and there are instructors who care a lot about you and Zumba. They will shout out what they’re doing and you follow along. Simple, really, once you get the hang of it. But even when you do you have to be prepared for new routines that they’re guaranteed to throw in and watch your toes around all of the newbies. What we’re trying to say is that your mind will always have to adjust somehow. This is what makes Zumba a favorite. You won’t feel like you’re working out. Yeah, you’ll be sweaty and the next day will hurt, but at the time you’re just going to feel like you’re dancing with a bunch of friends. That distraction, that workout in disguise, helps a lot of people actually workout at all. It could work for you, too.

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