So what exactly is Zumba?
The story goes that Alberto Perez, a dancer and choreographer forgot his aerobics tape for a class he was teaching. He improvised a class using tapes he found in his back pack.
His method of using ‘non-traditional’ aerobics music in his classes became quite successful in columbia and when he moved to the Us in 2001 he teamed up with two others to produce a demo reel which eventually led to the licensing of the concept by Fitness Quest.
Fitness Quest then created a direct marketing campaign together with a line of home videos which eventually led to Zumba as you know it now and probably the reason you landed on this page.
Check out this video clip to learn more:
Zumba classes are normally taught by licensed instructors and normally last about an hour. The exercises involve moving to a wide variety of music such as salsa, chachacha, samba, hip hop, belly dancing e.tc. In fact when it comes to the dance styles involved, it’s pretty comprehensive.
There are 8 different classes to cover different levels of age and fitness. The classes are Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Zumbatomic, Zumba in the circuit, Zumba Gold-Toning and Zumba Sentao.
Is Zumba safe for the elderly?
If you’re over 40, you may feel you’re past your prime, but the age old adage that life begins at forty couldn’t be truer. If you are concerned about the safety of exercising to quick and slow rythms, Zumba Gold was designed with the more mature in mind.
Basically, because Zumba is a low-impact program, it is safe for everyone.
Will Zumba help you lose belly fat?
The short answer is YES.
I have already written an article on the best exercises to lose belly fat and although I still stand by that article, taking Zumba classes may well be the most fun exercise to lose belly fat.
An hour session of Zumba burns between 500 and 1000 calories which means that one week of Zumba, three times a week will burn up to 3000 calories. In other words, that’s a potential pound of belly fat a week you could shed.
So say you have about 20 pounds of belly fat to lose, taking Zumba classes 3 times a week will help you shed it within half a year. I know that half a year sounds like a long time, but if you consider your total lifetime, half a year is just a drop in the ocean.
The problem a lot of people have today is the ‘instant culture’. You want to lose the belly flab now yet forget it took you years to accumulate. Now if you compare the number of years it took to accumulate your belly fat, losing it all within 6 months sounds like a very good deal to me!
If you’d like to lose belly fat fast and safely, then you can combine Zumba with a more aggressive nutritional plan to speed up results and lose up to 12 pounds in six weeks.
Other tips to lose belly fat fast include:
- Try to make sure you attend Zumba classes at least thrice weekly. Using Zumba DVD’s has it benefits, however, the excitement and energy you get from the actual classes are way more beneficial.
- Prepare your lunch packs in advance to avoid snacking on unhealthy foods.
- Watch what you eat and try to limit your caloric intake. Avoid trans-fats and saturated fat and eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables.
- Drop the fizzy drinks and choose calorie free water instead. In fact, Brandon Burchard, in one of his programs mentions that water is about the only thing you should be drinking!
- Try to get as much rest as you can. Eat foods high in magnesium such as almonds which will help you sleep peacefully.
- Make sure that your carbs come from whole grain ONLY. It is advised not to eat more than two servings of carbohydrates a day if you want to maximise your belly fat loss
- Calcium helps you metabolise fat, so make sure to include some dairy to your diet.
- Eat a fair amount of fish. The extra protein is good for building muscle and together with the omega 3 fatty acids, help boost metabolism.
- For breakfast try to eat more egg whites. They will make you feel fuller for longer as well as being a good source of protein.
- Beans are packed with protein, fiber, & iron they are an excellent low calorie addition to your foods, salads & soups.
- Green tea has been proven in nutritional studies to boost metabolism and aid in fat burning so you should rather drink it than coffee or regular tea.
Follow the above tips and you are guaranteed to lose the most amount of belly fat in the fastest time.
Zumba for post pregnancy belly fat
Another question that has been frequently asked is whether or not zumba can help reduce post pregnancy belly fat. One would think that the quick movements of Zumba would not be good for women who have recently given birth, and it true, if you haven’t had you postpartum check then I wouldn’t advise going into any strenous exercise routines.
If on the other hand it’s about a year since you’ve given birth and you’ve more or less gone down to your pre-pregnancy weight then Zumba classes are a very good idea.
A common issue new moms have is that even after losing their pregnancy weight, although they may no longer be overweight, their ‘baby pouch’ appears to be disproportionate to the rest of their body.
Th problem is that bod fat tends to fall off all other parts of the body with the belly being the last to be affected. The more body fat you lose in other areas, the more disproportionate your belly appears compared to the rest of your body.
Alternating Aqua Zumba which is Zumba in the swimming pool with Zumba in the circuit i.e dance combined with circuit training will do wonders for getting rid of that belly flab.
Tips and advice to lose the most belly fat with Zumba
Although it sounds more comfortable and controlled to do your Zumba exercises from the comfort of your home, I advise actually joining a Zumba class.
If you are motivated enough, you probably would follow the DVD routines, however, because temptation is high, and each time you force yourself to do your home workouts, you use up your willpower, chances are high you won’t follow through to completion.
When it comes to losing belly fat with Zumba, you have to make achieving you goals inevitable. That is why I feel signing up for classes would be your best option.
When you go for zumba classes, you have the benefit of trained instructors, the support of a like minded community and it’s way more fun doing zumba exercises with others than it is doing them on your own.