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The Aerobic and Anaerobic Benefits of Zumba

Apr 1, 2010

Zumba is a great alternative to traditional fitness programs. It motivates you to get up and get moving with its signature Latin music beat. Implementing Latin rhythms can make working out more fun. The speed of the beat also lends itself to making you work out faster than you might do otherwise. This helps your heartbeat to get to its target rate more efficiently.

Aerobic Benefits

Zumba makes getting to your target heart rate much easier than standard workout routines that you'd find on a DVD or in a gym. It does this by using songs that play around 145 beats per minute. This fast pace makes it feel natural to move around quickly. This will set you on the path to true aerobic exercise. If you are trying to build endurance, this is the best thing you can do for yourself. Exercising for prolonged periods at this rate can increase the strength of your heart.

This level of training can also help to burn calories that are derived from fat. However, it doesn't do so as efficiently as if you were to exercise at a slower pace. Only 50 percent of calories that are burned while doing aerobic exercise come from fat. This is why most fitness programs do not use music that plays at such a fast pace. Zumba's natural aerobic exercise pace is useful more for building endurance than it is for losing weight. If you want to eat more as part of your diet, Zumba can be very helpful, though. It burns more calories per minute, even if it doesn't burn more fat per minute.

Anaerobic Benefits

Because Zumba's music plays at a fast pace, moving to the beat of the music can start to build up your endurance after only a few workouts. It builds up your anaerobic endurance rather quickly. This type of training is as intense as one should go without explicit direction from a physician. Overall, it's most useful for helping to maintain a good cardiovascular respiratory system. It increases how much oxygen you can breathe during a high-intensity event. Many athletes train at this level for just this reason.

Calories burned at this level are even less efficient at burning fat. As little as 15 percent of calories burned through anaerobic exercise will come from fat. Thus, it should not necessarily be used as a weight-reducing exercise routine. It depends on what works for you.

Overall Benefits

Zumba is a great program for making you feel good while exercising at a high intensity. If your goal is to do aerobic or even anaerobic training, Zumba is a great way to start. If you are just looking for a way to stay in shape, you should probably choose an exercise program that doesn't use such a high beat per minute average in its music. A healthy heart zone of 50 percent maximum heart rate is best for maintaining your health, and a good fitness rate for burning fat most efficiently is at 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. Most traditional fitness programs provide music that will help make these target heart rates easier to achieve.

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