So here’s a bit of a little known fact about me for you all: I tend to stay away from doing much exercise in the fall and winter. Why? Well I know the reason may seem superficial to many people but it is because of my hair. When the temperature starts to dip below 60 degrees I make a point to straighten my hair, be it with a roller-set or using my Instyler. As much as I love my natural curls, I started this cycle back in college as I found that having my hair straight in the fall and winter just made it easier to manage. While the overall time it takes to get my hair from curly to straight is not as bad as my curly routine, it is a lot of work that can easily be for naught if I so much as perspire a bit or let some water, like rain or snow, touch it.
Thus any strenuous physical activities, like exercising, are regulated to the warmer months in spring and summer when I go back to my natural curly hair routine. But even then gymtimidation keeps me away from and using arm and leg weights while playing DDR at home can get pretty boring after a while. Which leads me to this post.At the start of the summer I did some research to find some out-of-the-box exercise classes preferably in water because let’s face it, summers in NYC are the worst. Thanks to Google I found out about Aqua Zumba. As someone who used to go to Zumba classes (on land) twice a week, I found the concept interesting so I mentioned the idea of giving this a try to Jonquel of Jonqel Art as well as to two co-worker friends of ours that have built in gym days to their weekly schedules. They all immediately jumped at the idea and we bought our first time passes for the following week. Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
The great thing about Aqua Zumba is linked to the obvious – its zumba in water! The water helps to make this a low impact workout (so its very forgiving on your joints), but with the same high energy moves of regular Zumba. Also you don’t even need to be a dancer or even know how to swim in order to participate. Designed to be a full body work out, the water works as a natural resistance that makes every step more challenging with the goal being to tone the muscles.
We headed to the Upper East Side to the Complete Body Gym and Spa for our classes with Zumba instructor Edmee Cherdieu d’Alexis. She instantly made us feel welcome, urging us to stretch before starting and getting us to the best positions in the pool according to our respective heights as the water has to be at chest level. She lead us through all the moves, encouraging us to really get into it even if we didn’t get it right at the first try. The second class was more intense than the first, though by that point you pretty much working with muscle memory for the moves thanks to the music. Overall the whole experience was the most fun I’ve ever had working out and being their with friends really made it more fun and special.
For both class sessions I went for fashion over function as I wore a “fatkini.” I wore my trusty Chevron Print Bikini from Torrid for the first class, which in my defense would have been fine if the underwire from the top didn’t decide to stab me in the heart half-way through. Because of this wardrobe malfunction, Jonquel highly encouraged me to get an active suit like hers, so off I went to JCPenney to find an affordable one but this Boutique+ High Neck top was just too cute to pass up so I purchased that instead for the second class.I’m happy to report that this top was not only cute and comfy but it provided the support I needed. I paired it with a swim skirt from Torrid that is actually too big for me so yet again I had issues, this time with the bottoms sliding down whenever I moved to do one of the back high kicks. It was as annoying as it sounds, however, since I was in a pool I stopped worrying about it after a while. This wouldn’t have happened if I had been wearing the right size yet I still highly recommend using a one piece or even a tankini that has great support if you decide to give Aqua Zumba a try. After all, Jonquel was the only one in our group that got through both classes without any major problems with her active swimsuit.
So if you’re in NYC and looking to try something fun for exercise, consider getting your best girlfriends together and trying Aqua Zumba by Z Club NY. Classes start at $36 for the first two classes if you’re a first timer and there are discounts that are sent to you via email after you take those classes offered by Z Club NY that you can consider after the fact. Sadly, I have yet to find any discounted Aqua Zumba classes on Living Social or Groupon but should I ever find any I will be sharing that information via my social pages so be sure that you’re following me on Instagram and Facebook.
With two Aqua Zumba classes under our our belts, Jonquel and I are looking forward to making this a major part of our regular workout regimens this summer. I just need to get that active swim suit and maybe even a swim cap that can actually hold my stubborn curly hair, haha. ~Get this look~
* Style Notes: This kimono is one that I got in the straight size section of Forever 21 back in 2013. The funny thing is that I got it with the intention of using it as a kimono but didn’t like how it looked. Now I just tie it for a cute cropped swim cover up. I say all that to say, always be sure to go through the straight size section of a store, you never know what gems you may find there.
How do you make exercise fun?
Also this is the first post of a new blog series. Jonquel and I met at a Full Figured Fashion Week event and have since become friends who collaborate and even work together professionally at the same company. So as you can expect we spend a lot of time together and have all sorts of adventures which we will now start featuring on my blog to share with you all.