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I've heard friends talk about Zumba. What does it involve, and is it an effective workout?
Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves. Zumba routines incorporate interval training — alternating fast and slow rhythms — and resistance training.
An aerobic activity, Zumba can count toward the 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity recommended for most healthy adults by the Department of Health and Human Services. Aerobic exercise reduces health risks, keeps excess pounds at bay, strengthens your heart and boosts your mood. If you enjoy Zumba, you're also more likely to do it regularly — and experience its benefits as an aerobic exercise.
As with any exercise, if a certain movement or position hurts, try to modify the workout to avoid the aggravating activities. Also, anytime you're training with resistance, remember that proper technique is important. Don't get so caught up in your dancing that you forget proper form.
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
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