8 Powerful Benefits of Zumba for Seniors
While dance-inspired exercise is great for all ages, the benefits of Zumba for seniors are many. Not only will Zumba help you get in shape—burning off body fat and strengthening your cardiovascular system—but you’ll have fun doing it.
What is Zumba?
The phenomenon known as “Zumba” is a Latin-inspired dance fitness class with different styles to choose from. It was originally conceived by Colombian dancer and choreographer Beto Pérez in 2001, but it has spread throughout the world to encompass over 200,000 locations in 186 countries. With more than 15 million people attending classes on the regular, Zumba has become a club of its own.
A Zumba class will generally have an instructor in the front of the class, and you’ll have rhythmic dance music that starts off with a slower beat, gradually building to a faster pace. Follow the steps the instructor demonstrates as you move in choreographed patterns to the music.
And while you don’t need to wear anything in particular to attend a Zumba class, nor is equipment required, Zumba is known for its fun and colorful outfits. If you’re up for it, check out some of the Zumba branded attire in soft, breathable, and movement-friendly cuts.
Types of Zumba
Zumba is a great form of exercise because you can tailor it to your needs or limitations. There are many types of Zumba to choose from:
Zumba Classic—this is your standard class, the original class that uses some higher interval training along with low-intensity moves. It’s easy to adapt to any level of fitness, from beginner to advanced. Just let your instructors know your limitations, and they will help you make adaptations.
Zumba Step—this is a combination of Zumba Classic and your good old step aerobics class. This will have you breaking a good sweat while dancing throughout with a little extra emphasis on those legs and glutes.
Zumba Toning—this class combines toning sticks (lightly weighted bars) with dance moves for a superior cardio workout that also helps you tone your muscles for a full-body exercise program.
Aqua Zumba—this is as it sounds: a Zumba class in the water. Yes, you’ll be doing the usual Zumba moves, but the added resistance provided by the water will challenge your muscles at the same time, giving you a great toning workout.
Zumba Gold—this class is exclusively designed with seniors in mind. While still upbeat and challenging, these classes focus on aspects like balance, coordination, flexibility, and mobility.
What are the Benefits of Zumba?
The benefits of Zumba for seniors are many. This is exactly the kind of exercise program that anyone can do, and from which everyone can benefit. Seniors, especially, have the perfect combo of a low-impact exercise that packs a punch when it comes to advantages.
1. Low Impact
You can make any of the Zumba routines low impact by scaling back on your moves and eliminating any jumps. This is perfect for seniors who may need to make accommodations for injuries or need to prevent future harm.
2. Easy on the Joints
It’s important to exercise in a way that keeps your joints protected, and Zumba is the perfect way to do it. With scalable workouts you can customize to your level of fitness and tone down to prevent (or work around) injuries, Zumba might just be the most perfect exercise program. Get a great total body workout without putting stress on those delicate joints.
3. Keep You Moving
Move it or lose it and Zumba definitely makes you move it! All the moving, shaking, dancing, and stepping you do throughout a Zumba class will keep your circulation on point all while burning off excess calories. As you get older, it’s important to keep that metabolism humming along, and Zumba is just the mechanism to do that for you.
4. Community and Mental Health
Doing Zumba can make you feel like part of a club and bring a sense of belonging. This can be very important, especially in someone’s older years, as they may experience losses and become lonely. Staying on top of emotional health and doing what you can to foster friendships and community can be very beneficial for seniors and anyone else.
5. Support and Accountability
The friendly group environment fosters an atmosphere of support and accountability. Showing up for class and meeting with friends can be a healthy outlet while building a feeling of community.
6. Have Fun
Going through the Zumba moves and routines can elicit a laugh or two. Whether the moves or the music make you smile, or watching yourself or others try to follow some tricky choreography, Zumba is bound to provide fun and even some comic relief.
7. Stay Sharp
Doing Zumba can also help you keep your brain and memory sharp, both of which are important as you get older. Because Zumba has so many moves and different patterns to learn, you’ll have to use some serious brain power to keep up.
8. Cardiovascular Health
Yes, all that movement is going to burn lots of calories, but even better, you’ll get your cardiovascular system in tip-top shape. You’ll find yourself comfortably out of breath, but you won’t even notice it because you’re having so much fun. Before you know it, you’ll be the epitome of cardiovascular fitness.
As long as you can stand and move, even a little, you can do a Zumba class. The benefits of Zumba for seniors are big, but since everyone can do it, it’s also a great chance to get the whole family involved. And if you haven’t yet tried Zumba, what are you waiting for? Branch out and join a class. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much you enjoy it and you might even get addicted to exercise.