Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Zumba Calories

Have you seen this graphic (or one like it) floating around? Have you heard the incredible caloric claims coming out of Zumba classes? I've only been going to Zumba classes since January 2014, but I'd been aware of the buzz long before. The estimate in the graph above is on the high side (although I have heard claims up to 1000 calories per hour), but it wasn't unusual to read about 600+ burns from people I knew personally (well, on Facebook and such. But actual people, not just a generic graph).

When I went to my first Zumba class, I had on my Fitbit and heart rate monitor. The HRM estimated a burn of 270, and the Fitbit said 319. I'll admit, I was disappointed. I almost gave up on it all. I went a second time. HRM was 280 and Fitbit was 358. Those types of numbers continued ... but I grew to love Zumba regardless of the stats. Even though my calorie burn was more equivalent to a 3mph walk, I wasn't about to strap on my shoes and walk for an hour in the morning. I just wouldn't. But I WAS still going to Zumba, and in fact was actively looking for additional classes.

I now Zumba pretty much every day. As I mentioned in a previous post, here in Utah, there are a lot of free classes being offered (Free Zumba In Utah). I've been able to locate close classes that fit my schedule (and being free, my wallet!) and even did some via YouTube at home on days I didn't have a class.

I have been able to improve my calorie burn numbers ... although still nothing like what is touted above (the jogging and the walking estimates are pretty accurate for me I think). I thought this article (Zumba: Sure It's Fun But Is It Effective) was a little more accurate and had some good information. I've been keeping track of all my stats, taking a picture of my Fitbit and HRM readings and posting them to my Facebook page after each workout (Zumba Stats). This past weekend, I entered some of my highs, and the last few weeks onto a spreadsheet for side-by-side comparison ... 

I've been to dozens of different instructors, learned so many new songs and steps.  I don't compare myself to others, and I don't take these calorie burn estimates as gospel truth, but I DO like to compare MY workouts with my same gadgets, and see if I can improve and maybe get a new high. While I recorded my calorie burn and steps from the start, I've only been including the other stats (time in zone, average heart rate, max heart rate) for the past few months.  I really like having my HRM on my wrist, and I watch it and try to keep my heart rate up. It does seem to take a lot to get it up, and it drops again so quickly if the dancing slows or stops (I think that is a good thing, means the heart is healthy. I need to do more research on that and write up a blog post about my heart rate monitor experience.)

I look forward to my Zumba classes. I WANT to go, I'm excited to go dance around. I do get in a lot of steps, and a solid hour, which I just wouldn't do on my own with any other exercise.

Linking up with Workout Wednesday.

Well ... it's time for Zumba!



8 comments:

  1. I wouldn't get to wrapped up in the calorie burn...the cals you burn relative to different workouts is way more important...and I like the average heart rate column the most because it's the most telling of your time vs. burn..whatever you did on 6/24, do more of that! #wowlinkup

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes - I keep my stats and figure if I compare the same gadget reading to the same workout at least I can keep that reference. It's so hard to try to get accurate estimates. I played soccer the day after I posted this I got CraZy readings on my HRM (like nothing I'd seen for any workout previous ... 783 calories burned for the 70 minutes, average heart rate of 159! I WAS dying!)

      Delete
  2. I've definitely burned around 500 calories before at Zumba but it varies a lot depending on whether or not I'm jumping around and shaking it like a crazy person lol. #wowlinkup

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know so much depends on what YOU bring to Zumba, and it is easy to modify the steps to make it more/less of a workout depending on your needs. Like you said though ... I don't want to be "that crazy person" who is just shaking it making everyone stare!

      Delete
  3. You've beat half the battle - find something you love to do and you will burn calories, get firm and fit!!!! Why does Utah have so many free fitness programs? Just wondering. #wowlinkup

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really think the "free" mentality has a lot to do with the dominance of the LDS (Mormon) religion here. There are SO many churches (read, free gyms), seriously, on every corner! And then the focus on service and giving to others. I do think it is that combination. Pretty much all my free classes are church related (although they welcome everyone!)

      Delete
  4. I hear Zumba is fun but hard.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...