SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - April 19, 2017) - The dance-inspired group fitness class, Zumba®, offers a low-impact version that's designed for middle-aged and older adults. But can the lower-intensity Zumba Gold, deliver on the promise of a safe, fun and effective exercise for baby boomers? To shed light on how many health benefits the hip-shaking really offers, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) commissioned an independent study to determine if Zumba Gold meets current guidelines for improving and maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness in seniors.
Researchers at the Center for Wellness and Human Performance at Western State Colorado University recruited 16 men and women with an average age of 63 for the study. While wearing biometric tracking devices, study participants performed a 45-minute Zumba Gold class. Participants burned an average of 197 calories per session and the majority exceeded the heart rate required for the exercise to be considered moderate intensity.
"There were instances where some individuals reached the vigorous-intensity threshold," says lead researcher Lance C. Dalleck, Ph.D. "While Zumba Gold is gentle enough for most older adults, some individuals experienced greater cardiorespiratory strain, which could be an issue if they are considered 'high-risk.'"
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, older adults are statistically among the least physically active of any age group for a variety of reasons, putting them at an increased risk for developing chronic diseases. Zumba Gold can offer this demographic an effective way to get regular exercise, a crucial component to mitigating these health risks. However, strenuous exercise must be approached with caution and consideration. Researchers advise fitness professionals leading Zumba Gold classes to be mindful of these risks, particularly in older adults, and appropriately screen class participants.
"Every form of exercise has the potential to pose some level of risk. Zumba Gold instructors and fitness professionals must be alert and prepared to address class participants showing any signs of exercise intolerance such as lightheadedness or dizziness," says American Council on Exercise Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D. "Ultimately, the key to developing a sustainable healthy habit of regular physical activity is finding a movement experience that is enjoyable, engaging and effective. Zumba Gold fits appears to meet those criteria for many of its participants."
To view the study, please click here.
With a mission to get people moving, the nonprofit organization American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies and represents more than 65,000 currently certified fitness professionals, health coaches and other allied health professionals. ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and healthcare, bringing the highly qualified professionals ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE is the leading certifier in its space and all four of its primary certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the United States for accreditation of certifications that assess professional competence. ACE also plays an important public-service role, conducting and providing science-based research and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change. For more information, call 800-825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org. AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.