Zumba has become one of the most popular dance-inspired workouts. It is one of the alternatives to the traditional forms of exercise or physical activity to attract people. People have become fond of Zumba because it is more of a dance party due to which the famous catchline has become associated with Zumba - “Ditch the Workout, Join the Party”. People are motivated to move on the beats of music with different dance styles and aerobic exercises.
Zumba contributes to improving overall health because it improves aerobic endurance, flexibility, strengthens neuronal connections and muscles. It is beneficial for all age groups including the geriatric population. In the year 2012, Zumba was ranked 9th as a fitness trend across the world.
Various studies have been conducted to analyse the benefits of Zumba. Let’s understand some of the physiological effects of Zumba on the human body.
- Effect on Nervous System - Research has shown that Zumba improves our cognitive functioning, fine and gross motor skills. This is because Zumba involves synchronized and co-ordinated dance movements with music. This dance therapy is also related to mental relaxation, happiness, emotional and social integration of the individual, wherein reward centres in our brain gets activated by music. Some studies also suggest that people who dance regularly have better flexibility, balance, stable posture and cognitive performance.
- Effect on Cardio-respiratory System - The cardiovascular benefits of Zumba on our body are well-established. Numerous studies observed that Zumba improves the aerobic and VO2 max capacity of the body. In a study conducted by Jitesh. S. et al, 2016; participants suffering from hypertension were made to practice Zumba for two months, post which their blood pressure was evaluated. It was observed that Zumba positively affected the diastolic and systolic blood pressure of hypertensive participants.
- Effect on Musculoskeletal System - Several studies have observed that Zumba is an excellent way to improve endurance and stamina. It also strengthens trunk muscles and effective in relieving from shoulder-neck pain.
- Effect on Bone Health - Zumba improves the metabolism and vascularity of the body. Improved balance and coordination reduces the risk of fractures which is beneficial especially in case old age people. Researchers also say that exercise stimulates the accumulation of minerals which helps maintain the bone density. This makes Zumba another reason to opt for especially for women, for reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis in later stages. Exercise also stimulates the secretion of synovial fluid thus keeping joints lubricated and strong.
- Effect on Body Weight - Zumba helps in preventing undesirable body fat accumulation, improves body mass index and promotes the growth of lean mass. Not only it helps in shedding extra weight but also boosts the metabolic rate and helps maintain an active lifestyle. This, in turn, is beneficial in the long run, as the chances of developing lifestyle-related metabolic disorders like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc. are also reduced.
- Effect on Reproductive System - Studies suggest that Zumba also promotes reproductive health. It improves the hormonal profile, thus improving fertility, ovulation, menstrual cycle and control the symptoms of menopause like fatigue, weight gain, hot flashes, joint pain, osteoporosis, anxiety and depression.
To conclude, Zumba is a great way to improve aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular strength and metabolic profile of the body. It not only uplifts the mood, and reduces stress but also comes with a lot many other health benefits. Simply move on the beats of music to stay fit!
Luttegen, Mary., Foster, Carl., et all. (2012) Zumba®: Is the “Fitness-Party” a Good Workout? Journal of sports science&medicine. Refereed from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737860/
Suri,Manjula., Sharma, Rekha., Saini, Namita. PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF ZUMBA: AN OVERVIEW UNDERSTANDING THE POPULAR FITNESS TREND. (2017). PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF ZUMBA: AN OVERVIEW UNDERSTANDING THE POPULAR FITNESS TREND. Referred from