The purpose of this study was to gain a holistic understanding of the efficacy of Zumba® fitness in a community-recruited cohort of overweight and physically inactive women by evaluating (i) its physiological effects on cardiovascular risk factors and inflammatory biomarkers and (ii) its mental health-enhancing effects on factors of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Participants were randomly assigned to either engagement in one to two 1 h classes of Zumba® fitness weekly (intervention group; n = 10) or maintenance of habitual activity (control group; n = 10). Laboratory assessments were conducted pre- (week 0) and post-intervention (week 8) with anthropometric, physiological, inflammatory and HRQoL data collected. In the intervention group, maximal oxygen uptake significantly increased (P < 0.05; partial η(2) = 0.56) by 3.1 mL · kg(-1) · min(-1), per cent body fat significantly decreased (P < 0.05; partial η(2) = 0.42) by -1.2%, and interleukin-6 and white blood cell (WBC) count both significantly decreased (P < 0.01) by -0.4 pg · mL(-1) (partial η(2) = 0.96) and -2.1 × 10(9) cells · L(-1) (partial η(2) = 0.87), respectively. Large magnitude enhancements were observed in the HRQoL factors of physical functioning, general health, energy/fatigue and emotional well-being. When interpreted in a community-based physical activity and psychosocial health promotion context, our data suggest that Zumba® fitness is indeed an efficacious health-enhancing activity for adults.