According to the American Council on Exercise, Zumba is an effective form of aerobic exercise and is indeed beneficial to those seeking to lose weight or stay in shape. In a 2009 study, the Council found that Zumba effectively raises the heart rate and meets the exercise industry's standards for workout-intensity levels and caloric expenditure.
In this study, which monitored heart rates and oxygen consumption during one session, Zumba was shown to be comparatively effective to other forms of aerobic exercise. Before this study, there had been insufficient research done to determine whether Zumba was a truly effective exercise.
As of 2014, Zumba is often more intense than several popular aerobic workouts including kickboxing, power yoga and step aerobics. Zumba mimics interval workouts, which means that participants alternate between high- and low-intensity cardio exercises during a Zumba session by alternating between slow and fast dance moves during a session. Interval cardio sessions result in higher caloric expenditure than steady rate workouts such as jogging.
Colombian Zumba creator Beto Perez taught his first Zumba class in 1999. Since then, Zumba Fitness has exponentially grown in popularity. As of 2009, Zumba is taught in approximately 75 countries, and Zumba fitness wear and DVDs are also widely available to consumers.