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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Aqua Zumba: Low-impact Cardio Exercise for All Ages

Jul 30, 2011 02:13PM ● By Darrell McKay

When they were younger, many Baby Boomers exercised by running many miles on winding roads, enjoying step aerobics or participating in contact sports such as football, soccer and baseball. For some, the toll of these high-impact activities are surfacing as they age, in the form of joint issues and overuse injuries such as arthritis and chronic pain—in some cases, even requiring surgical replacement of joints.

Many members of Central Penn Health and Fitness Center (CPHFC), in Harrisburg, afflicted by such maladies are choosing to exercise exclusively in the pool, and have discovered Aqua Zumba, a new water fitness class that is appropriate for all fitness levels.

Aqua Zumba provides a high-intensity cardiovascular workout with a low physical impact on the body. Some members using a Polar monitor during class have tracked heart rates of up to 70 percent of their maximum, assuring that they are working within their target heart rate for exercise—intensely enough to see results without causing adverse effects. Exercising in water provides buoyancy; displacing the body’s weight reduces stress on bones and joints.

Aqua Zumba provides a fun, social activity for all ages. Participants learn dance fitness moves that are set to music with upbeat tempos, such as merengue, cumbia, salsa, swing and even country & western. Many members of the CPHFC have been working out together for the past 20 years.

For increased safety and comfort, participants are encouraged to purchase water shoes that provide proper cushioning, support and traction against the bottom of the pool.

Darrell McKay is executive director of CPHFC in Harrisburg. For information, call 717-564-4171 or visit

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