Zumba is everywhere! People are doing Zumba at the gym, in physical education class at school, in the park, at the senior center, in the assisted living home and in the privacy of their own homes. With over 12 million people in over 110,000 authorized locations around the world, the Zumba program has grown to become the largest dance-fitness program in history (not including the people who do Zumba in their homes by watching the videos, DVDs or playing the video games).
If you’re new to Zumba, it is “an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party” that first came to the fitness market in 2001. Although one might think it’s a fitness fad (like the Shake Weight or the Thigh Master), it is a fitness phenomenon that isn’t going anywhere … anytime soon. According to the Academy of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2012, Zumba jumped from #31 (in 2010) to #9 (in 2012). One has to wonder what makes Zumba so successful in helping people get physically active more often, get healthier and more fit?
Top 10 Reasons Why Zumba is So Popular
Zumba has found a way to engage millions of people around the world and get them moving for better health and vitality. Below are the top ten reasons why they’ve been successful in such a short amount of time:
1. It is fun and enjoyable.
Human beings are driven by the “pleasure principle”. We choose activities and experiences that are enjoyable before we choose those that are challenging and difficult. Zumba workouts are designed to be fun! Unlike a traditional fitness workout, form is not the focus of the class. The focus is self-expression and moving to the beat of the music. No judgements. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to move. It’s dancing to the beat of your own drum (with instruction by an energetic instructor).
2. It doesn’t feel like a workout.
How often does one see participants in a group fitness class smiling and laughing during the workout? That’s pretty common in a Zumba class! The word “workout” is traditionally one that has a negative perception. People tend to think of workouts as being physically challenging, hard work, potentially painful and something they choose to avoid. Zumba classes provide many of the benefits of a traditional group fitness class but without the negative perceptions associated with working out.
3. It is for people of all ages and abilities.
Zumba has class offerings for every age range and skill level. Aside from the traditional Zumba dance classes, there are also classes that focus on toning, circuit training, chair-based workouts and water-based workouts. Specially designed Zumba classes and programs are targeted for kids (Zumbatomic) and seniors (Zumba Gold).
4. It can be done virtually anywhere.
To participate in a Zumba class, all you need is two feet and a heartbeat! Zumba can be done indoors, outdoors, or in the water. All a person needs is a Zumba instructor, Zumba video or DVD or the Zumba video game to get a great workout!
5. It is a social experience.
What’s a party without people to celebrate with? Zumba is a “dance fitness party” that encourages everyone to participate. Classes are designed to promote social interactions and creating unforgettable experiences with each song.
6. Zumba classes are offered in over 110,000 locations worldwide.
Zumba classes are available at authorized centers located in the largest metropolitan cities and the smallest rural towns. The Zumba experience is energetic, encouraging and fun … no matter which location a person chooses to visit.
7. It burns calories.
We naturally burn calories when we move. When we move a lot with our bodies … we burn LOTS of calories. Although it may not seem like it at the time, Zumba burns a significant number of calories. A study by the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, found that Zumba classes were an efficient and effective way to lose weight due to the high number of calories burned and cardiovascular intensity.
8. It provides a total body toning workout.
A typical Zumba class involves all of the major muscle groups of the body. Classes include squats, lunges, crunches, shoulder movements, jumping, twisting and more! Participants are constantly moving and getting a cardiovascular workout during each 60 minute class.
9. It teaches body awareness through functional movement.
Functional movement is ability to move ones body with the proper muscles and joints working together resulting in effortless, pain-free movement. Zumba encourages participants to express themselves through their movement. Facilitated through dance, the body moves in a wide variety of ways and through all three planes of motion (sagittal – front to back; frontal – side to side; transverse – rotation).
10. It is a great way to relieve stress.
It is a well known fact that exercise has many stress-relieving benefits. Zumba not only provides the benefits of exercise on stress relief, it also provides social and emotional benefits, too! Engaging in fun activities with others is a great way to get your mind off of your worries and problems. The music, the camaraderie and the movement are all ways Zumba provides a way to get rid of stress.
To find a Zumba location near you, click here.
If you are interested in learning more about how to become a Zumba instructor and Zumba certification, click here.