What Should You Choose; ZUMBA Or HIIT To Lose Weight

Do you want to be scared out of your shoes? Try this on for size, statistics by the World Health Organization say that the worldwide obesity rates have tripled since 1975! Not just that, every one in three adults is obese.

Among the most important reasons for such figures worldwide (again, according to the World Health Organization) are:

  1. Increased intake of high-fat foods. This could be seen as a rise in cost-effective, fast food intake, such as food from McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, or other renowned chains.
  2. Reduced activity. Given the prevalence of smartphone application, workspaces completely dominated by computers, there is barely any physical activity that individuals get today.

What is Obesity? What Costs Does It Impose?

However, just being a little fat or chubby is not the same as being obese or underweight. Regardless of whether one is obese or not, it does not give you the right to shame them over it. We will now define Obesity.

Obesity is defined in the context of the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated as the weight of an individual, divided by the square of their height. For every height, an ideal BMI exists, exceeding which terms the individual as obese or overweight.

This extra weight is what causes problems. But taking on a newer perspective, let’s discuss the issues it creates for society at large and costs it imposes. These include around $4 billion in gasoline costs and costs of increasing seating spaces in public transport.

Finding Solutions to Obesity

But of course, the context of individual quality of life is and always will be relevant. Therefore, finding the right solutions to obesity is a never-ending debate. Two of the best solutions to obesity in the modern-day are exercise regimes called Zumba and the HIIT.


Zumba is for those that love to shake and groove and enjoy it while they burn all that extra fat.

The fitness program was created by a renowned Colombian Dancer and choreographer, Alberto Perez. However, a raging criticism for Zumba has been that the workout really only is fun and not as effective as it should be.

However, the following graph showing the heart rate response to a single-class tells a very different story.

Looking at the graph, it is relatively easy to conclude that a Zumba class is composed of highs and lows. This can be seen as interval workouts for participants. This very quality is what makes Zumba a much better exercise than steady-state cardio on a treadmill.

In addition to just its effectiveness, the party animal inside you gets to enjoy the rhythms of salsa, merengue, cumbia, and reggaeton. Besides, special Zumba regimes are designed for people of different ages and skill levels. Admittedly, losing would not have been any more fun.


High-Intensity Interval Training is another one of the most popular fitness programs today. As the name suggests, HIIT is about intense training stints comprising of anaerobic exercises. These stints continue the individual is too exhausted to continue. The intensity of the workouts is such that the typical time for a complete workout is usually under 30 minutes. But what’s so special about burning
yourself out in a workout? What’s special is that:

  1. Nobody today has time to work out.
  2. A high-intensity workout entails an after-burn effect that allows your body to consume oxygen much after the workout too. This is what gives your body that extra push in a 10-minute workout that normal steady-state cardio for 50 minutes does not.

So What’s Better: Zumba vs. HIIT

But who is the real winner from both of these?

Before we get into the differences, let’s discuss the significant similarity among both. Technically, you could say that the Zumba follows the philosophy of HIIT on a toned scale.


Recall the heart rate argument for Zumba and relate it to the workout intervals in HIIT.

It makes sense. But on a much broader level, both are nothing alike. While Zumba is all about enjoying your time exercising and grooving to the music, HIIT is about the intense workout that pushes your body to the breaking point. So, HIIT is fighting through the pain while Zumba is grooving through it.

HIIT: What does it entail?

When it comes to HIIT, the benefits are rather straightforward:

  • You do not need specialised equipment or extra time
  • Your stamina improves by leaps and bounds.

The infographic pretty much explains the entire story.

But what is worth considering are the downsides of HIIT. The first and foremost argument in this sense is that HIIT is not for everyone. To be able to gain (actually lose) something out of HIIT, you must have a given fitness level and flexibility to go through with it.

Furthermore, HIIT can leave your muscles extremely sore, not only that the probability of getting injured in HIIT is much higher than in any other sort of exercise. And while you alternate between sitting up and standing very fast, nausea will not be too far away.

But then again, the returns of HIIT exercises far outweigh the returns of most other exercise regimes, so there’s that.

Zumba: What is it About?

When it comes to Zumba, the benefits again are rather straightforward. You get a full-body workout that you enjoy, thereby reducing the stress that you have been carrying for the past month.

While the workout is enjoyable, the chances of injury are much higher than in a normal treadmill workout in your gym in Nottingham. Furthermore, one of the rather disturbing facts about Zumba is that the weight regains after abandoning Zumba is rapid.

Moreover, Zumba fitness regimes are very tiresome and, therefore, may not suit people that want relaxation exercise regimes.

Final Word

Coming to the final judgment on the matter, it seems that even with a high injury probability and a prerequisite for skill level, HIIT manages to top the charts among the two. Why?

  1. For one, it does not have an obesity relapse for abandoning the program.
  2. The prerequisite for fitness level can be achieved eventually as the weight falls.
  3. HIIT is much more efficient in comparison to Zumba even with similar drawbacks.


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