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Zumba: a waist whittling, calorie torching happy hour that won’t leave you hungover!

Our advice: DO IT! Zumba is not only an exhilarating and fun workout, but it can also (and most importantly) flatten your abs.

You're probably familiar with this popular, Latin-inspired dance/fitness class and may be a devout fanatic already. Or maybe you've just started your fitness journey and you're thinking about dancing your way into a lean, fit body.

How can regularly attending Zumba classes flatten your abs? Zumba uses high-intensity interval training with fast songs and periods of slower songs. Interval training has many benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness; lower cholesterol and improved insulin sensitivity.

Let me guess; you started the year strong, promising to work out every day and drink your meals until you reached your goal weight. You probably realized that this was an unrealistic (and unhealthy), and now a few months into 2018, your fitness goals remain a distant dream as your exercise routine has already begun to lag.

You need new motivation. A workout you'll actually maintain because it's so fun, you'll WANT to work out. You need Zumba!

A fitness reporter from Popsugar Fitness had these 5 points about why Zumba rocks.

  1. The dance moves are easy to learn but physically challenging. So even the most uncoordinated among us can pick it up quickly and dive into the routine. That means less time wasted just trying to follow along.

  2. It makes you drop your ego. Remember that now-overused quote "Dance like nobody's watching"? Turns out, it's great advice. Letting loose without judgment from yourself or others is one of the best things for your mind, body, and soul.

  3. It takes the work out of working out. You're learning dance moves, listening to superfun upbeat songs, and getting amped up by your instructor. At full throttle, you can burn around 500 calories in a one-hour class. Although you might sweat like a maniac and feel it in your muscles the next day, you will rarely ready for class to end.

  4. The people! It varies by location, but Zumba classes usually draw a diverse crowd across all cultures, ages, and body types. I get so much delight from joining the wide cast of characters unabashedly dancing their faces off in Zumba.

  5. It's way more than cardio. Yes, your heart will be pumping, you'll sweat like crazy, and you'll burn calories out the wazoo. But you're also squatting, lunging, kicking, punching, and hula-hooping your core, butt, and arms into shape all at the same time.

Zumba will make you laugh, whoop, and holler while burning up to 600 calories in a one-hour class.

Zumba is one of those workouts where you're having so much fun that it doesn't feel like exercise at all. And you're not even thinking about the fact that it's an amazing cardio workout for your heart, it's scientifically proven to lift your mood, it tones your abs, legs, and arms, and it burns a crazy amount of calories. All you care about is that it's an hour-long dance party where you get to move your body to invigorating, sensual Latin beats.

But let's get back to the calories for a second. While doing her salsa, samba, and merengue moves for an entire 60 minutes, a 150-pound woman ends up burning 599 calories! If you're 130 pounds, you'll burn 519 calories, and a 170-pound woman will burn 679.

Holy calories! That's almost as many as you'd burn on a 60-minute run (680 calories). And that's just doing moderate intensity. If you kick it up a notch and really get into it, you can burn more calories and build more muscles.

Do you swear that you're happier since a cardio dance class like Zumba has become part of your life? You're not dreaming — there's real science to back you up!

In one study from the University of Derby, depressed patients who were given nine weeks of Zumba classes experienced a huge lift in their moods. Researchers explained that it was the combination of exercise, social interaction, and the concentration learning a new skill requires that significantly boosted the mood of all the study's participants. Zumba classes are all about fostering a strong sense community, require plenty of focus, and offer an awesome sweat session in the process.

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