The Best Zumba Workout for Burning Calories

The Best Zumba Workout for Burning Calories

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If you feel like you're giving it your all, that's all that really matters.

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Not all Zumba Fitness workouts are going to pack the same punch in terms of calorie burn. As with any fitness routine, the total depends on the amount of time you spend doing that activity, the intensity level and even the instructor who's at the head of the class.

It's Interval Training

Zumba Fitness instructors mix up the songs to alternate fast and slow rhythms. That's a form of interval training, which is going to cause your heart rate to rise and fall accordingly. In terms of calorie burn, interval training may be better than steady-state exercise. Interval workouts can oxidize more fat than a more moderate program, notes the IDEA Health and Fitness Association. If your instructor plays fast-paced songs, with just a few slower ones thrown in to give you a breather, here's the potential for a decent calorie burn.

Comparing Workouts

The intensity also varies depending on the class title. Zumba Gold is a workout designed for older people, and the workouts will be less challenging. Zumba Toning adds weights, making all the moves more intense. Zumba Gold Toning, then, will be more vigorous than Zumba Gold. In Aqua Zumba the resistance of the water also intensifies the workout. Zumba Sentao involves a chair in which participants sit at least part of the time. With that part-time sitting, you'll probably burn fewer calories than the standard Zumba Fitness class. Zumba in the Circuit is an intense session of cardio mixed with weights, but it tends to be a shorter class.

Things to Look For

You can expect the Zumba Toning and Zumba Fitness classes to be make the most demands on your energy. The length of the class also matters. Classes vary from 30, 60 to 90 minutes long; the longer the workout, the more calories you'll burn. Over time you'll probably also notice that certain instructors turn up the heat and rely on lots of fast-paced songs, while others slow it down more frequently. When maximum calorie burn is your goal, pick the instructor with the sizzling choreography.

This is Your Journey

It's really up to you to decide how much calorie burn to achieve. If you don't enjoy the exercise, you're not likely to stick with it -- so finding an instructor or a DVD you like is key. Also try lifting your arms as high as possible, jumping up higher and moving your body in all planes so you'll burn more calories. A heart rate monitor can provide a calorie burn estimate. The faster your heart is beating during a session, the more calories you'll torch.