We all know that swimming is a great, low-impact, full-body workout. But it’s not the only way to get in shape in the water. Over the last few years, traditional strength training, cardio workouts, and even yoga have taken to the water to deliver a form of exercise that is easy on the joints and effective at toning and strengthening the muscles. Sure, there’s water aerobics. But there are also a handful of other fitness styles that have taken the plunge into the pool, creating an entirely new experience for some of your favorite group exercises classes.
Here’s an introduction to five popular group fitness classes that you wouldn’t expect to take place in a pool:
Aqua Zumba adds a fun challenge to one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world. The concept and moves are the same as in a traditional Zumba class, but the extra resistance created by pushing against the water adds a great strength-training element to the workout. The class is held in shallow water (about chest height for the average participant) and the instructor is positioned near the ledge of the pool (so that everyone can see her movements and follow instruction). Aqua Zumba is described as a fun pool party- where you don’t even realize that you get a great workout.
Do you hate running, but still wish you could get your share of cardiovascular activities into your day? I have great news! There are plenty of dance + workout classes or activities you can partake in. In honor of the new season of Dancing With the Stars—which debuted March 17th—let’s talk dance.
If you haven’t heard of Zumba, you must be living under a rock. Zumba has been around since the 90s, but there has been an upsurge in interest in the past few years. And why not? Zumba is fun, healthy, and an easy way to lose weight without realizing you are losing weight. Set to salsa and hip-hop dance tones, Zumba combines aerobics and rhythm. And fun, obviously. Fun fact: some of the celebrities that love Zumba are Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, and Jordin Sparks.
In the spirit of SXSW, Kimmel and Judd joked about their love of food, with Judd saying that she had “eaten her way through the lone star state.” Judd admitted that she spends a majority of her time in a new film role planning the food she will eat on set, and she also thoroughly discussed her love of Do-Rite Donutsin Chicago. Judd shared that good ol’ old fashioned doughnuts are her favorite kind, so much so that a whole box of them ended up on her chair on the set of her latest film Divergent. Read Full Post >
Noel Rich has a story that many people can relate to. As a self-described, “chubby girl” throughout her childhood, she accepted her “large frame” as the way she was simply destined to be, but after she graduated high school and got married, she added another thirty pounds.
Today, though she has struggled with setbacks and pushed her way over many plateaus, she’s been successful in losing 60 pounds and keeping it off. She was recently diagnosed with celiac disease which has her switching up her diet once again, but she’s determined not to let this new challenge get in her way or sabotage all the weight she’s lost.
More from Noel in her own words -
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Not caring about eating habits is probably the biggest. Not that my habits were horrible but they could have been better. That coupled with a horrible metabolism and a love for books and reading in bed therefore no exercise was an added factor.
Marielle Doughty is one of the most positive women I’ve ever interviewed for our True Weight Loss segment. Time and time again she mentioned that although losing 113 pounds hasn’t been easy, she never considered it a struggle. Through the process she’s met new friends, learned how to cook in a different way, and found physical activities she truly enjoys participating in. Through her weight loss journey, she discovered it’s easier to embrace healthy lifestyle changes than consider them a burden.
We asked Marielle to share her story with us:
Tell us when your weight struggles began. It all began when I got married and learned how to cook. I found out that love to cook and I love food!
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? My love of cooking and my addiction to sugar. I also became a stay at home mom and didn’t stay active at all.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? Every year I would usher at my kids’ dance recital and come home every night with sore feet. One year two thoughts came to me almost simultaneously: 1- It feels like we were just here last week, not a whole year ago. 2- If I had made small lifestyle changes a year ago, my feet wouldn’t hurt as much. It was a light bulb moment for me. I started my journey the day after the last dance show and a year later I ushered again, 97 pounds lighter, and I didn’t get sore feet.
How did you lose weight? I used the Zumba diet to start. I chose it because it doesn’t cut out food groups, it teaches portion control and healthy habits instead of being a diet that has a finish line. I wanted to learn how to eat healthy, not get to a specific goal weight. The recipes were yummy too. I still love to cook – I just know how to make better choices.