Zumba takes to the water

PLATTSBURGH - Whether you can swim or not, "Aqua Zumba" may be the exercise class you've been waiting for.

According to www.zumba.com, Aqua Zumba is a "pool party" workout for all ages. The water-based workout takes the Zumba workout and blends it with "aqua fitness disciplines."

"A bit part of the Aqua Zumba is incorporating the upper body with the arm movements," explained YMCA aquatics director and Aqua Zumba instructor Patti Warner. "You've got a lot of resistance."

In fact, the resistance of the water is approximately 12-times that on land, according to an informational sheet provided by Warner.

"The benefit of the extra resistance, using your arms, is you get a lot of core work as well," Warner explained.

However, for those with shoulder issues or other injuries, the resistance can be reduced, simply by modifying the exercise. Aqua Zumba is also a good exercise for the lower body, including legs and hips.

"It's a good way to do pretty much a total body [workout] in the aquatics environment," Warner explained. "And you don't realize it, because you're just having fun."

Although Aqua Zumba is good for men and women of all ages, Warner especially sees benefits for older women.

"It's so important, especially for women, to keep those muscles [strong] with the issues of aging, osteoporosis," she said. "And, just like any other fitness class, you go at your own intensity level, depending on what your goals are. But the social environment, the fun environment, that's just as important."

Currently, the Plattsburgh YMCA, located at 17 Oak St., is the only Aqua Zumba class in the area. Classes are held every Monday, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and membership to the gym is not required. Warner is also looking to add more classes during the next session, which begins in May.

For more information, call 561-4290.

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