Making Fitness Fun for Everyone!

Archive for the ‘Zumba benefits’ Category

How Exercise helps Alzheimer’s

Let’s get moving to avoid Alzheimer’s! Found this in the June 2019 Cosco magazine.

Music is best exercise for the brain

Check out how music helps the brain…

Click HERE to view Video on Here is what music does to your body


“Three studies published this month explore how the brain responds to music. The quest to dissect exactly what chemical processes occur when we put our headphones on is far from over, but scientists have come across some clues.”


“Evidence is in — music activates every known part of the brain. (2)

Just as it’s never too early to start, it’s also never too late to benefit from music either.

Seniors who play an instrument, sing or dance reap physical, psychological and social benefits from music.

Music protects against memory problems and cognitive decline even more so than other leisure activities. (53)

Seniors with musical backgrounds score higher on cognitive tests and show greater mental flexibility than their non-musical counterparts. (54)

Listening to music has been shown to significantly improve working memory in older adults. (55)”


“If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout.” Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.”

Exercise can help prevent depression

Visit Time Health post here to see how “Regular exercise may prevent many cases of future depression, according to a new Australian study, and researchers say that as little as one hour a week can make a real difference.”

Read the 2017 research paper, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry

Time Magazine Article: Why Zumba Is Insanely Good Exercise

See the exciting article in Time Magazine about Zumba, with links to other Zumba studies!  They discuss how Zumba is successful because is it is FUN, you make FRIENDS, and it’s EFFECTIVE for the heart, balance, and psychologically uplifting and freeing!
The article is copied below, or you can view it at their website:
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Why Zumba Is Insanely Good Exercise


March 9, 2017
For more, visit TIME Health.

Zumba was born in Colombia in the 1990s, quite by accident. A fitness instructor forgot to bring his usual workout music to class, so he grabbed some Latin albums from his car, ditched the constraints of a traditional workout and danced just like he would at a club. His class followed along, sweating to the salsa and rumba beats, and loving it.

Since then, Zumba has pitched itself as more of a party than a workout. Indeed, some research suggests it may be the very best workout for people who hate to exercise.

People worked hard in the class, too. “We found that they exercised at about 80% of maximum heart rate, and 60% V02 max,” which is a measure of oxygen used during exercise, he says. “We found it’s a pretty good workout—similar to moderately intense exercises like step aerobics or cardio kickboxing.”

But the most impressive part of Zumba is how much it appeals to people who stay away from exercise. A study in the American Journal of Health Behavior showed that when women with type 2 diabetes and obesity did Zumba three times a week for 16 weeks, they lost an average of 2.5 pounds and lowered their percentage of body fat by 1%. More importantly, the women enjoyed the class so much that they made it a habit—very unusual for an aerobic exercise program. “After the study had ended, most the participants continued going,” says study coauthor Jamie Cooper, an associate professor at the University of Georgia. “It seems like most of them had fun, made friends and didn’t see Zumba as hard work.”

Another study linked Zumba’s hip-swinging, stomach-gyrating movements to increased core and trunk strength and better balance in older overweight women. After just eight weeks, the women’s quality-of-life scores jumped 9% and their self-esteem increased 16%. A related study on Zumba’s psychological benefits found that people who practice it feel more independent and said that their lives seemed more purposeful.

It’s not hard to see why the activity would be invigorating and freeing. “You have to let go and have fun during Zumba,” Cooper says. Just as some people with anxiety take improv classes to relieve their social skittishness, dancing around other people may help Zumba-goers feel less shy or self-conscious about their bodies.