Zumba in the Pool Erases Poor Attitude, Gluttony and Vanity
Water Zumba promises to add a splash of variety to your normal workout routine.
photos by JOHN ALTDORFER
I don’t know why I’ve always had an attitude about Zumba, but I do.
So why in the world I signed up for a Water Zumba class at Club Julian in Ross Township is beyond me. I can’t imagine that the cookiepalooza I’ve been indulging in over the past week (OK, month) will do me or my bikini any favors; furthermore, I completely overlooked the fact that all that dancing around in the water will inevitably bring about splashing, and
I’m not wearing waterproof mascara.
But it’s too late to turn back now. Class starts in five minutes, and I’ve already signed the waiver.
“Hi Kate!” my certified zumba instructor, Jen Pearson, calls out cheerily. “We’re so glad to have you here today.”
Jen clearly knows nothing about my poor attitude, gluttony and vanity, but no matter; this class is a full house. The indoor pool, which I’m told is always heated to 84 degrees, is teeming with about 30 older-and-wiser gals.
“I stay on dry land because no one would know what I was doing if I were in the water,” Jen explains. “And the tempo is half the tempo on land — because when you’re in the water, you obviously can’t move as fast. It also doesn’t matter if you’re going left and I’m going right because no one can see what you’re doing underwater anyway.”
Thank God. Because while she leads us through 60 minutes worth of moves that feel like the aquatic love child of dancing and kickboxing — hold, hold, single, single, cross and drag your arms through the water, feeling the resistance … OK, rock back and forth, back and forth … now kick! Forward, side, back, and now the left side, forward, side, back ... Legs up, let’s work our abs and pull in our legs, left then right, left then right. I’m having a grand old time in the corner of the pool with limbs that have gone rogue. Little of what I’m doing resembles Jen’s instruction. But the only thing visible to the world is my bobbing head, which is fortunate, because underneath the water my body’s in a free for all.
Despite this, the resistance from the water makes me feel like something good is happening. In fact, by the time our hour is up, I feel famished.
“People get addicted to this,” Jen says.
Verdict: A surprisingly enjoyable twist on a popular craze; also, good for people with knee or back problems since the buoyancy of the water absorbs impact.
Club Julian • 101 Corbett Court, Ross Township; 412/366-1931, clubjulian.com. Water Zumba is held every first, third and fifth Friday of the month. Membership prices vary.
Drink This Month
Whether loose-leaf or matcha, green tea packs a punch, says registered dietitian Matthew Darnell of the University of Pittsburgh and sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It contains L-theanine, which can act as a sedative-free calming agent that may help with focus, as well as Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants to help fight free radicals. Enjoy two cups per day either hot or chilled, but you should go for high-quality. “Many bagged teas and bottled teas have considerably less phytonutrients compared to home-brewed loose leaf or matcha,” Darnell says.