• Energy expenditure and physiological responses to 60 minute Zumba aerobic sessions (group class versus home) in healthy adult females

      Morris, Mike; Okonkwo, Nneka M. (University of Chester, 2012-10)
      This paper reviews the literature which has investigated the physiological responses and energy cost of aerobic fitness type exercises. The paper essentially targeted studies which recruited young healthy adults consisting predominantly of women. Results revealed that the exercise intensity attained in most of the studies (for example, popmobility, Curves, Zumba) were 50% to 80% of O2max and 60% to 95% of maximum heart rate (HRmax) which are within the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommendations for promoting cardiovascular fitness. However, some other fitness exercises like yoga, Pilates and NIA (Neuromuscular Integrative Activity) technique did not meet these recommendations. Benefits were also noted in terms of weight management with majority of the studies resulting in an energy expenditure greater than 300 kcals per workout session which is also within the ACSM recommended guidelines for attainment and maintenance of weight loss. Future studies should employ larger sample sizes and be conducted on the male population. In addition, to achieve more significant results or greater benefits, future research on aerobic fitness type exercises should be conducted for longer duration and investigations performed on differences between group and individual sessions. The purpose of this study was to determine (i) the maximum oxygen consumption and energy expenditure of young adult females during 60 minute Zumba sessions (group class and home based), (ii) that a Zumba session is a safe fitness activity which meets the ACSM recommendations and (iii) to identify any differences in energy cost of participating in a group Zumba session compared to a session performed at home. Fifteen healthy adult females from the University of Chester participated in this study. They performed two Zumba sessions during which their heart rates and ratings of perceived exertion were measured at five minute intervals. Each participant also performed a maximal oxygen consumption test and a linear regression equation was used to determine their O2 from the heart rate measurements obtained during the Zumba session. Data was analysed using Paired t tests to determine differences in %HRmax, METS and caloric expenditure values across trials (group versus home based sessions) and Wilcoxon’s test for O2max across trials. The results revealed that values were significantly higher (p < 0.05) for % O2max (mean ± SD: 59.1 ±19.2 % O2max versus 49.8 ± 16.9 % O2max), HRmax (68.7 ± 13 % HRmax versus 60.8 ± 8.2 % HRmax) and energy expenditure (363 ± 98.1 kcals versus 310 ±94.5 kcals) in the group sessions compared with the home based sessions respectively. Both home and group Zumba sessions meet ACSM recommended guidelines for cardiovascular fitness. They also elicit exercise intensities that fall within the recommended guidelines for ‘moderate’ levels of intensity, constituting Zumba as a safe fitness activity. Furthermore, higher values of exercise intensity and energy expenditure obtained in group sessions suggest that more energy is expended when performing Zumba in a group.