Why do a Zumba workout? If you like a dance party, Zumba may be for you! The upbeat music of salsa, merengue, bachatas, and more, just makes you want to move.
Most classes alternate between high intensity numbers and slow romantic dances so you get a nice interval intensity workout.
For this 30-minute workout, you’ll want to have a pair of lightweight dumbbells, soup cans or water bottles handy. We’ll pick them up at about the 19 minute mark to add some arm toning work into the mix! Thanks to my dedicated students for joining me for this portion of the workout.
The Benefits of a Zumba Workout
Doing Zumba gives you all the benefits of other exercise programs, some of which are outlined below.
Improved insulin resistance
Insulin is a hormone that controls our body’s blood sugar levels. More specifically, it moves sugar from the blood to the cells for storage. When our cells are insulin resistant, it means they don’t use insulin effectively and our blood sugar remains high.
Having high blood sugar for a prolonged amount of time can lead to all sorts of problems. It can cause damage to the nerves and organs, and it also causes the pancreas to kick into overdrive making more insulin to try to reduce your blood sugar. Over time, this can lead to a depletion of cells that make insulin, which is frequently seen in type II diabetes.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to decrease insulin resistance, moving sugar into storage more effectively and keeping our blood sugar at a healthy level.
A combination of cardio exercise and resistance training, which we do in this workout, seems to be most effective in decreasing insulin resistance.
Better cardiovascular health
Exercising regularly has been shown in countless studies to have a marked effect on reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular events like heart disease and stroke. It reduces bad cholesterol levels while increasing good ones, lowers blood pressure and helps us maintain a health BMI.
Speaking of BMI, regular physical activity is key for weight loss.
At its core, weight loss simply comes down to burning more calories than you take in. The first part of this is taking in fewer calories through a balanced diet. The second part is burning more than you’re consuming with regular physical exercise.
To burn maximum calories, you want to push yourself and work hard. This doesn’t mean you need to be gasping for air every time you work out, but you want to get to the point of feeling what I call “the need to breathe.” This gives your heart a good workout and will expand your aerobic resistance so you can do more and go longer the next time around.
Attractive muscle tone
Who doesn’t want toned, great looking arms, shoulders and legs? When you work hard to improve your appearance through exercise, you’ll gain a self-esteem boost and a positive mindset on top of it.
There’s something so empowering about committing to improve your health, putting in the hard work and then seeing the results in the mirror. You’ll also feel the results in the fit of your clothes.
How Much Exercise Do We Need?
Experts like the surgeon general and the National Institutes of Health have come to a consensus that to achieve all of the desirable effects noted above, we should strive for at least 30 minutes of modest activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
What is modest activity? For most people, it’s a brisk walk of about 4 to 5 miles per hour, but it can really be anything that gets your heart rate up. Popular forms of modest activity include cycling, swimming and even doing yard work.
And the best part is that you don’t necessarily have to do all 30 minutes in a row; you can break it up into two 15-minute sessions or do 10 minutes a few times throughout the day on days where you can’t squeeze in a full 30-minute workout.
So, lift your mood and join me with this fun, high energy 30 minute Zumba workout! If you’re new to Zumba and want to start with something a bit shorter, try mastering this 4-minute Zumba routine first and work your way up.
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