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Anne A. Delextrat, Sarah Warner, Sarah Graham and Emma Neupert

Background:

Although Zumba is practiced by millions of people worldwide, there is a paucity of research about its potential benefits. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Zumba on physiological and psychological outcomes in healthy women.

Methods:

Cardiovascular fitness, body composition, physical self-perception and psychological well-being were assessed before and immediately after 8 weeks of Zumba performed 3 times weekly (Zumba group, n = 22, age: 26.6 ± 5.4 years old; height: 165.8 ± 7.1 cm) or no intervention (control group, n = 22, age: 27.9 ± 6.0 years old; height: 164.7 ± 6.2 cm). All variables were analyzed by a 2-way (Group × Time) analysis of variance with repeated measures, and a Bonferroni post hoc test. Pearson correlation coefficient assessed the relationship between changes in anthropometric, physiological and psychological variables.

Results:

Zumba provided significant positive changes in maximal aerobic fitness (+3.6%), self-perception of physical strength (+16.3%) and muscular development (+18.6%), greater autonomy (+8.0%), and purpose in life (+4.4%). No significant changes were observed in the control group. In addition, some psychological changes were significantly correlated to body fat at baseline, and changes in fitness.

Conclusions:

These results highlight that Zumba is beneficial to improve fitness and well-being in healthy women, but does not change body composition.

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Sarah Warner, Jennifer White, Shawn Hueglin, Elena Estana-Johnson, Chris Schoen and Lynda Ransdell