Forest Hills Dives Into Fitness With Aqua Zumba

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on September 17, 2013 9:09am 

QUEENS — This swimming club is bringing the party to the pool.

A group in Forest Hills is heating things up this fall by putting the hip-shaking zumba dance craze underwater.

Aqua Zumba — a combination of aqua aerobics with Latin inspired rhythms and other music styles — kicks off next Monday at Quest Spa & Fitness Center at 111-20 Queens Blvd., said Kelly Arias, an instructor at Take Me To The Water Swim School.

“This workout is amazingly fun,” Arias said. “It’s feels like a pool party.”

Participants don’t have to know Zumba steps and don’t have to how to swim, she said. But they have to be tall enough to have the water at chest level while standing on their own, Arias said. The class will take place in the shallow portion of the pool.

Arias demonstrates the steps while standing outside of the water, so that the students can see the movements clearly, she said.

Students circle their hips, wave their hands and lift their legs in the water, following rhythms of reggaeton and merengue. The water adds extra resistance, making the zumba moves even more intense than normal, she said.

“Because of heavy cardio exercise you are getting an intense workout and burning calories,” Arias said.  “But you are also toning your body and releasing stress.”

And for those who shiver at the thought of a fall and winter dip in an indoor pool — Arias said the water will be kept between 88 to 90 degrees, above 10 degrees higher than the average public pool.

The underwater pool moves are extra low-impact, she said, perfect for people who “have knee issues or any sort of joint problems.”

The exercises can be modified for those who find them too difficult, said Arias, who also teaches swimming classes for babies.

If the class becomes popular in Forest Hills, the organizers said they are planning to expand the program.

Aqua Zumba starts on Monday, Sept. 23, at 111-20 Queens Blvd. (corner of 75th Road). The 45-minute class begins at 7:15 p.m. One class is $20 ($120 for a pack of 6). To sign up, call 212-371-9500 or e-mail Linda@TakeMeToTheWater.com.

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