Aqua Zumba makes waves for fitness

More people taking on the fitness hit

Last updated 07:57 19/02/2014
Aqua Zumba

FUN TIMES: Aqua Zumba instructor Richard Gormley, from the USA, takes a class at the Lido Aquatic Centre in Palmerston North.

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Buoyant, fat-fighting and fun, Aqua Zumba is making waves in Palmerston North with a growing number of people taking up the activity to improve their health.

Palmerston North Aqua Zumba instructor Marie Smith said there had been a noticeable increase in people accessing the classes at the Lido Aquatic Centre.

"I've got a few ladies in my class with green prescriptions, so that's started to come through as a means for health improvement," Ms Smith said. "And I had another lady who was a bit overweight and I watched her come along over several weeks.

"She said to me she lost 8 kilograms, and that she was on 15 different types of medication which she no longer needed."

A special class taken by Zumba education specialist Richard Gormley last night had about 40 people participate.

Mr Gormley, who is based out of the Zumba headquarters in Miami, said the low-impact aquatic exercise was fun and anyone could do it.

"A lot of people think they can't do it, they say they can't do it on land or they're too unco-ordinated, but they seem comfortable in the water," he said. "It's about the music, it's about having fun and it's about getting a serious workout without feeling like you're hurting your body. When you're in the water, you have to push through the resistance of it the whole time, so it's an awesome workout on every muscle in your body."

Mr Gormley said Aqua Zumba was often more appealing to people who found it easier to move in the water. "In terms of joint injuries, 75 per cent of the class is unweighted, so there is 75 per cent less impact."

He said Aqua Zumba had taken off in the US and in Europe, and now instructors were working to get more people involved in the rest of the world.

"Aqua fitness is geared towards older people, it just has the reputation as an alternative to aerobic exercise," he said. "But people like and know Zumba, so if we incorporate shaking your booty with aqua fitness we can appeal to a wider audience."

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- Manawatu Standard


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