I agree that higher intensity cardio has more benefits.
But my point is that nature of the activity itself is largely irrelevant. It is perfectly possible to get the benefits of higher intensity cardio by doing .... zumba with higher intensity.
Also, if you are going to bring up the issue of adaptation, HIIT won't really address the issue of body adaptation if it is the same underlying activity. Cross-training with a completely different activity is the best way of addressing this.
But let's not drag this away from the original poster's question. And it is pretty clear from the context of that question that they are just starting out. So let's not confuse people with a whole lot of advanced training techniques. For a non-exerciser, any exercise is good. And exercising regurarly is the first thing that anyone should be aiming for - thus trumps any issues about intensity, or adaptation, or variety in workouts.
Fitness Minutes: (8,635)
388 12/16/12 1:13 P
I find that Zumba is a lot of fun, and gets me motivated to do other stuff at the gym, too (I take the Zumba classes there; haven't tried the DVDs/videos). So, for me, it's a "sparking" exercise, if that makes sense -- it makes me happy to be moving, which gets me moving more, which is a good thing!
12/16/12 12:38 P
"Zumba is no more, and no less, effective than any other form of exercise that burns the same number of calories."
Research proves that this statement is not true. All exercise is not equal. Any exercise is good, but some exercises are better. For example, high intensity interval training is a form of cardio that creates an afterburn effect that burns calories *after* your workout. Most cardio, like Zumba, only burns calories while you are working out and the amount of calories you burn decreases as your body adapts. While you might initially see great results, it diminishes over time. That's why you need to keep changing things up.
And while cardio burns fat, it really does not build muscle mass. (As mentioned, the toning sticks are not enough weight to force the body to adapt by building more muscle.) Muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even when at rest. That's why you want your fitness plan to incorporate both cardio and strength training for the best results.
It's best not to make too many changes at once, but once you get comfortable with Zumba and the habit of exercising. I also would add at least two days of strength training as well. And lift heavy, to your capacity to create results.
Fitness Minutes: (165,863)
12/16/12 12:19 P
Zumba is great! dance like no one is watching. Nutrition is key to weight loss. Any exercise is a great first step as it increases my water intake and makes me feel good. lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and Zumba is a weight bearing exercise so it strengthens bone density.
Fitness Minutes: (77,720)
4,148 12/15/12 6:47 P
I LOVE Zumba. I think in the long run, anything that you can stick with will help you lose weight, especially if it is good cardio.
Zumba is a fantastic cardio workout, but it just doesn't challenge the muscles enough for it to be considered strength training.
You've already got an awesome product, that actually makes exercise fun for many people. I just wish so many zumba advocates (especially) didn't feel the need to exaggerate the benefits.
And 'toning sticks'. Yes, they can potentially add intensity to the cardio aspects. But 2.5 lbs being strength training? Yeah, right.
12/14/12 1:02 P
I love ZUMBA!
12/14/12 1:00 P
The key is to find something that you will enjoy and stick with. I enjoy Zumba but if I do it more then once a week I get knee pain. So I do Pilates, walking and ride a stationary bike. But the point of exercise is to move, so if it's something that will get you moving, then it's right for you.
Eating right is just as important, but just keep moving.
Zumba is NOT like other exercises that burn the same amount of calories. It is a full body workout and your not only burning calories, you tone your muscles as well. How do I know this? I'm an instructor.
First and foremost, change your diet. I have been teaching for 3 years, and even though I teach and work out 5 days a week, I've been gaining weight, mainly becasue I havent' changed my diet to account for the lack of exercise. So change your eating, and you will get results from Zumba.
Thank you for all of your help! Changing my diet as we speak which is easier said than done when your used to the bad stuff. Being a single mom who works all the time does not help either but I know if I have the will I can do it. Thanks again you guys!
When I attended Zumba twice a week faithfully I lost weight and I've already seen a difference now that I'm back into it. Several of my friends have had great results with Zumba as well.
Fitness Minutes: (15,537)
9,713 12/13/12 12:40 P
Any exercise is good exercise, but all the exercise in the world won't help if you don't get your nutrition under control. That's what makes us gain weight!
The best exercise for weight loss is the one you'll do. There are some types that burn more in a shorter period of time, others that are low impact or high, but realistically, it doesn't matter what you do, because you adjust your diet to the amount of exercise you're doing. :)
The basic formula? Eat less than you burn. You'll lose weight. Do what you love, so you'll stick with it, to get the benefits of exercise (and allow you to eat more!) such as improved cardiovascular health and the mental benefits of exercise. Live right, and losing weight is icing on the cake!
I agree with everything Motivated said. Start with your diet. If you like Zumba, go for it. Youc an always try something more intense as you get fitter. And, you can up your energy level during Zumba as you get fitter. I have definitely found that you're more likely to stick with something you like, so if you enjoy Zumba, go for it. You'll want to add in a good solid lifting program at some point (sooner rather than later), but small steps are the way to go when first starting out so you don't get injured or burn out. If you clean up your diet, cut your calroies and add in movement, you will see weight loss. Good luck!
For most people, weight loss is 80% nutrition, and just 20% exercise.
So if you eat right, you will lose weight, even before considering exercise.
And when it comes to exercise, it doesn't matter so much what you do, just that you do it regularly. Zumba is no more, and no less, effective than any other form of exercise that burns the same number of calories.
That said, many people find Zumba to be extremely fun and enjoyable. And enjoying yourself makes it far more likely that you will stick with it in the longer term.
If Zumba works for you, go for it!
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
471 12/13/12 12:59 A
I can't imagine any way adding in some movement and cleaning up your diet COULDN'T help you move forward with weight loss! Give it a shot and have fun doing it!
Fitness Minutes: (502)
12/13/12 12:54 A
i think it all depends on the type of zumba you do, how hard you work it etc
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