I agree with Unident - impact refers to jarring of the body, normally running or leaping.
Intensity refers how hard you are working out, how many calories you are burning and how high your heart rate gets.
There are plenty of low impact, high intensity exercises around.
I am surprised that Zumba is classified as high impact, which is I think you may be referring to intensity.
Zumba tends also to be a little more varied in its moves, while walking is a little more repetitive.
I'm not sure quite where you are sore from walking - feet? Shin splints? Just general muscle soreness? The causes could be different depending on where you feel it.
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Zumba isn't supposed to be high impact. It's supposed to be a low impact cardiovascular Latin dance class. So, if your class is high impact, it's because of the instructor.
However, if you find that you feel sore after a brisk walk and not after Zumba, what are you wearing for shoes ? Your feet may not have the support they need to walk long distances and that might explain some of the soreness you're feeling. Another possible reason for the soreness could be a result of walking too briskly too soon. Brisk walks can cause shin splints if done too quickly at first. So, if you're not used to walking at a quick pace, try slowing down. You may find the soreness goes away with the slower pace.
Of course, if you have been doing zumba for longer than you've been brisk walking, that too would explain the lack of soreness. When a person does an exercise for the first time, they may feel some muscular soreness because their body hasn't adapted to the new routine. If you've been doing zumba for a while and recently started walking, that too would explain some of the soreness i.e. your body hasn't adapted to your walking routine yet.
One other possibility, does that 3 mile walk include going up hills ? if so, walking up hills can be very challenging to a person's body.
Walking is always low impact. If you did high impact 'speed walking' in a race you'd be disqualified.
Do not confuse impact for intensity. High impact is where both feet leave the ground at once, as in running and leaping. Some of a Zumba workout may do that, but in my experience it's very little. I'd call Zumba low-impact (one foot tends to remain on the floor at all times).
Now, as for intensity instead ... that is very personal and variable. How long have you been doing zumba? How long have you been walking? Maybe your body is just more used to one activity than the other.
Whether you're sore will generally be an indicator of how used to a movement you are, not how intense, impactful, or effective as exercise it was on your body.
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Quality of instructor? lol..
The ones I have tried are really terrible- they are out of time, don't always tell people when to change and anything goes under the heading zumba.. I never knew the can can was zumba- but hey thats free marketing principle crap. Many of these classes steal peoples money unless people turn up regularly with dedication long haul, however they usually close down for christmas like any other business but fitness long haul needs a attitude of 365 days a year.
Classes gives people a legal excuse not to turn up to the gym when there are no classes.. I have seen women turn up to them and because their instructor was sick with the flu go home instead of take a free trip in the womens weight room with another instructor..
I also get more out of walking as did more standing trying to find the beat of the music to what ever she was trying to do..
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