OKINAWA, Japan (Aug. 30, 2013) -- Zumba is a fun, high-energy, dance-based workout that combines several dance styles such as salsa, mambo, samba, meringue, flamenco, tango and even incorporates belly dance moves and hip hop for a total body workout.
It has become a popular dance and aerobics fitness routine that helps sculpt and tone your body while burning away calories to the beat of Latin music.
Janelle Brown, an Air Force spouse, initially tried Zumba following the birth of her first child. She enjoyed it so much she became a certified Zumba instructor after moving to Okinawa.
"I remember how fun it was and it didn't feel like a workout. So, after we moved here in 2009, I looked into becoming a certified Zumba instructor," said Brown.
Take all that Zumba has to offer and bring it to the swimming pool and you have Aqua Zumba, which features the same moves, only now as a water-based, low-impact workout that uses the water for resistance.
"People from all fitness levels from beginners to advanced can take the classes, even if it's their first time doing Zumba," said Brown. "With Aqua Zumba, you are working with the resistance of the water the whole time and getting a full body workout that is easy on the joints. So this workout is really beneficial for people who have knee, back or joint issues, as well as pregnant women."
Jessica Poppell, an Air Force spouse, said she was playing with her kids at the pool one day while Brown was teaching an Aqua Zumba class, and it sparked her interest.
"I took one class and it was a lot of fun, so I kept coming back," said Poppell.
Aqua Zumba helps with allover muscle toning and strengthening core muscles due to the increased resistance from the water. It also offers a welcome respite from the hot, humid Okinawa summers.
"A lot of people do land-based workouts, but this is another option for an invigorating workout. It's especially good during the hot summer months here in Okinawa because it keeps you cool while you work out," said Brown.
Aqua Zumba classes are held at the Torii swimming pool Monday and Thursday mornings from 9:30-10:30 a.m. The classes are open to anyone who has base access. Wear what you are comfortable wearing in the water, such as shorts, shirt, bathing suit and water shoes.
For more information, stop by the Torii pool office or call DSN 315-644-4389.

Page last updated Sun September 8th, 2013 at 20:45