In a society obsessed with health, steps, weight and appearances, I can’t blame anyone for asking this question. Today we’re going to get down to business and discuss how Zumba can help us reach a variety of health related goals.
1. Increased likelihood of consistency: Zumba is FUN. When I begin helping people decide what form of fitness is best for them, I help them evaluate what they enjoy. If you enjoy dancing, loud music and a workout that will take you on a global vacation then Zumba is perfect for you. When you find what you love, you are more likely to continue it regularly, make it a habit and those classes can contribute to increased calorie expenditure- thus increasing a likelihood for fat/weight loss if you were previously sedentary.
2. Your Zumba class *should* have a variety of high and low intensity throughout the class (this was taught in our training), which can contribute to your metabolism staying elevated post-exercise. This benefit applies for any interval training workout as well, not just Zumba so make sure to mix up what you’re doing rather than maintaining the same intensity for long periods of time.
3. Regular Zumba classes can lead to increased flexibility, core stability, balance, muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance. That’s a lotta fancy words for you are gonna FEEL better because you can physically function at a higher level. Feeling better about moving and your body can lead to more movement and higher self-esteem- it’s a beautiful thing. Who doesn’t want that?!
4. Ultimately, changing your body composition through fat loss or weight loss will still depend largely on your nutrition habits. Diets that ban food groups, involve restriction, calorie counting, anything with a numerical end (ie 21 Day Fix, 24 Day Challenge, Whole 30 etc) have low success rates for low term weight loss. So instead what should you focus on? Focus on changing your eating habits slowly, focus on foods that help your body function well, and add foods versus taking away. An example: Try swapping your drive thru donuts and venti latte for an egg sandwich (more protein) and non-fat grande latte (still satisfies your coffee habit with a smaller portion and slightly less fat). Eventually, see if you can prepare your own meal from home, adding more veggies or fruit to create a balanced, satisfying meal. As time goes on you can focus on your other meals. The goal is to be happy and feel good about your foods and exercises, not miserable and predisposed for a binge thanks to restrictive extremes.
At the end of the day, I encourage my students to focus on the process versus an outcome. When you are deciding to change your habits to lead to weight or fat loss, make sure you are slowly stacking habits that are sustainable for your whole life and not dependent on a specific outcome. If it leads to weight loss then it’s all part of their personal process.
By doing what you love and incorporating habits slowly you are setting yourself up for a long term lifestyle rather than temporary results. Hope to see you in class soon!
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