I've heard friends talk about Zumba. What does it involve, and is it an effective workout?

Answer From Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.

Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves. Zumba routines incorporate interval training — alternating fast and slow rhythms — to help improve cardiovascular fitness.

Zumba is an aerobic activity that can count toward the amount of aerobic activity recommended for most healthy adults by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefits.

Aerobic exercise can reduce health risks, help maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your heart and boost 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 activities that are painful.

Nov. 06, 2019