Zumba Fitness Programme is a Latin-inspired dance-fitness programme that blends fitness into music and dance making it a sort of “fitness-party” according to the website zumba.com.
The Zumba Fitness Empire was created by Beto Perez, who started from a humble beginning in Cali, Colombia in 2001, to become the world’s largest — and most successful — dance-fitness programmes with more than 12 million people worldwide following this exercise regime.
What makes Zumba popular and different from traditional aerobics is the fact that it creates a fun filled atmosphere which makes even the non-dancers comfortable in getting their bodies to move. It is an exercise routine disguised as a party.
Zumba is designed using popular Latin American dance styles like Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, Reggaeton etc. and the moves are modified in such a way that an individual’s aerobic capacity, strength, flexibility and core are challenged and worked upon, making it a complete workout programme. This is unlike traditional aerobics, which operates at aerobic level challenging the cardiovascular system only. In fitness jargon this is called “Intermittent training” which combines the principles of aerobics and that of interval training.
Fitness experts all over the world agree that a typical workout should target all muscle groups and challenge all the energy systems of the body each day. Zumba fits the bill perfectly since it involves all the muscle groups and challenges both — the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. This is in contrast to the gym sessions, which target only a particular muscle groups or an energy system each day.
The intermittent training module of Zumba suits an average Indian urban lifestyle very well in terms of food habits. This programme is designed to burn 700 to 1000 calories in an hour’s time, making it a wonderful option for people with little time to spare for their fitness, more so for corporate crowd.
Thus, a Zumba session thrice a week with a sensible diet would go a long way in shedding those extra kilos.
One more advantage of this kind of workout is that the body stays metabolically active for the next 36 hours or so after one finishes a Zumba session. This elevation in the metabolism helps to shed fat even during sleep.
Zumba is targeted at all sections of people, irrespective of their age and gender. There are different types of Zumba for different levels of exertion. There are Zumba programmes specifically designed to cater to the needs of the elderly, for body sculpting a water-based programme that is designed specifically for people with back pain, knee pain and other joint pains. In the water-based programme, the impact of the exercises is absorbed by the water, delivering the benefits of fitness without stress to the joints. Thus Zumba is popular with people who have functional problems related to age and disability.
Though Zumba fitness has had a late entry in India, it is catching up in urban areas with many popular gym chains like Ozone, 360 degrees, Talwalkars etc. scheduling regular Zumba classes.