Zumba keeps you slimmer than salsa
Zumba was one of the top fitness crazes to sweep gyms and community centres a few years ago and the dance movement is still going strong. Inspired by moves from Latin America and created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez in the 90s, the high-intensity workout gets hearts beating and blood pumping.
Zumba is not the only dance to hail from that part of the world; salsa, with its Cuban and Puerto Rican roots, is also a popular choice for those looking for both a hobby and to get fit. But a new study has found that Zumba is more effective than salsa, which is danced in pairs, for boosting women's health.
Researchers from Kingston University and the University of the West of Scotland looked at a group of 24 healthy women aged between 22 and 56, who only exercised once a week.
Their fitness regime was tweaked to include two salsa and two Zumba classes over a fortnight.
The women wore chest monitors and wristbands while they danced, with the results showing they burned more calories while partaking in Zumba. Physical activity was also higher, with more steps taken and a higher heart rate achieved in the group dance class.
However if you are a salsa fanatic, don't turn your back on the dance just yet. The Journal of Sport and Health Science notes that questionnaires on the two dances showed that both forms of exercise lead to improvements in psychological wellbeing.