Zumba inspires a clublike atmosphere as you shake and shimmy across the aerobics room floor. You get lost in the beat of music, which includes salsa, merengue, reggaeton and hip-hop, while creating a fitter and slimmer you. The number of calories you burn depends on your size and the intensity with which you party. According to the online calorie calculator Health Status, Zumba class burns about 504 calories per hour if you weigh 150 pounds. Larger people burn more; a 200-pound person, for example, burns 720 calories in an hour, while a 130-pound person burns 468 calories. A class that's based more on classic Latin dances such as salsa burns about 321 calories per hour if you weigh 150 pounds.
In a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, 19 college-age women participating in Zumba while wearing heart rate monitors showed an average burn of 9.5 calories per minute, with burn rates ranging from 5.1 to 15.3 calories per minute. In a less scientific study published in Glamour in 2014, participants wearing activity trackers reported burning 423 to 787 calories in a vigorous one-hour class.
Turn Up the Heat
If you want to burn more calories in class, you'll have to pick up your intensity. Use up a lot of space when you dance -- move forward and back or side to side with gusto and flair. Extend your arms fully as you perform arm movements to capitalize on the calorie-burn potential.