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Christina’s Healthy Crusade: Aqua Zumba

Community Editor Christina Giovanazi tries her best to be somewhat healthy, but finds certain fitness and diet trends difficult or unproductive. She will be trying some out and letting readers know which healthy lifestyle challenges are awesome to try and which are totally not worth the effort.

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According to its official website, Zumba is “pretty much the most awesome workout ever.” It combines cardio, core-strengthening, and muscle toning with Latin music to create a dance party that gives the same results as a workout.

Aqua Zumba is similar to a regular Zumba class, except some of the moves are adjusted for the resistance created by the water. Even though Aqua Zumba may not have the same intensity level as just regular Zumba, it has benefits that its out-of-water counterpart does not.

Every movement you make when you’re in the water is slow and challenging due to the resistance created by the water. This generates a difficult workout that reaps more muscle toning. The resistance of the water also protects joints from impact, making Aqua Zumba an optimal workout for someone who is injured.

The low-impact aspect of Aqua Zumba is one of the factors that piqued my interest in the class. A few months ago, I developed a bulging disc in my lumbar spine, and I have only recently been able to return to running with the cross country team. I thought that this class might provide a good cross-training workout without being harmful for my back.

I’ve also wanted to take a Zumba class because of the fun dance approach to working out. Whenever I pass the class while walking through the Arena Club, I see people getting great exercise and having a great time.

So, I absolutely had to try it!

Thankfully, the water in the pool wasn’t as ice cold as I feared it would be, otherwise I might have just left the class. The instructor wore a Zumba-brand shirt that said “Shake Shuffle Splash” and was friendly and welcoming. She, along with the upbeat Latin music, energized the class to make the workout fun, despite the class being held at 8:30 on a Saturday morning.

Although I anticipated the dance moves would be challenging underwater, it still proved to be way more difficult than it looked. Trying to keep up with the rhythm of the Latin music while the water resistance slows you down is easier said than done. My legs felt as if they were lead as I struggled to move them through the water.

One advantage, however, to taking a class in a pool is that no one can really tell if you’re off rhythm. Most of the dance moves are underwater so, if you’re falling behind, it’s not too noticeable.

Aqua Zumba is an awesome class to bring a friend to. The light atmosphere combined with the high-energy dancing is an awesome way to kick off the weekend on a Saturday morning.

After the class, I actually felt that I had a productive workout for the day. Constantly moving in the water is excellent cardio work that develops endurance. Also, balancing in the water demands core strength. I would definitely try the class again with friends to get in a fun workout during the weekend.

Between having tons of fun and actively cross-training, who wouldn’t want to try Aqua Zumba? So, grab a friend, find a bathing suit from summer, and get ready for the most calorie-burning pool party that you’ve ever been invited to!

Christina Giovanazi is a Community Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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Christina’s Healthy Crusade: Aqua Zumba