London, Dec 2: Feeling drained out emotionally? Engage in Zumba dancing for five weeks as it may not only help you stay physically fit but also improve mental health and quality of life, a study has shown.
Zumba is an exercise fitness programme which involves dance and aerobic movements performed to energetic music.
The choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. Squats and lunges are also included.
In the study, published in the Health Education Journal, people with sedentary lifestyle participated in the five-week exercise programme based on the Zumba Fitness discipline.
Zumba helped them improve their quality of life, especially the emotional aspect, which was recorded as the least in these participants.
Quality of life is a broad concept comprising various aspects and is divided into eight dimensions: social, emotional, physical state, physical pain, physical functioning, vitality, mental health and general health.
"It is interesting to note that the emotional dimension, which was the one with the lowest values at the beginning, was the one with the highest values at the end of the exercise programme
"Therefore, the one that experienced the greatest improvement," said lead researcher Yaira Barranco Ruiz, from the University of Granada (UGR) in Spain.
Moreover, even two months after the intervention ended, most of the dimensions continued to maintain levels above those recorded at the beginning of the programme, the researchers said.