Aqua Zumba helps many

PUHI — An Aqua Zumba session led by Troy Lazaro Sunday at the YMCA pool created windows of opportunity for a lot of people.

“This hour of Aqua Zumba supports an amazing cause,” Lazaro said. “It will help the Kauai robotics team get to Australia for a competition. Robotics help encourage students to pursue a future in engineering and other high-tech fields.”

Julia Masaro, a second-year robotics student, said the program started with 15 students and is growing.

Available to high school students around the island, the program is based at Island School, facilitated by adult mentors and teachers.

“The team traveled to California for a regional competition last year,” Masaro said. “I didn’t get to go, but the team said the experience really helped them with practice for the state and regional competition, which was held at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.”

Masaro said getting to Australia is expensive so the team will just have to keep working at it.

More than 50 people jumped into the water Sunday for the second Aqua Zumba fundraising session.

“This brings in a whole different crowd,” said Tom Tannery, director of the YMCA of Kauai. “We don’t have a regular Aqua Zumba program, but I hope Troy can come at least once a month to offer people this exercise and workout option, while making money for the robotics program.”

Nadine Robinson, who will be running her very first Kauai Marathon next Sunday, was among the people working out.

“I’ve been working out and exercising almost every day,” Robinson said. “I’m so excited about running the half marathon with some friends. It took some motivation for me to get into the marathon, but I have a 73-year-old friend who ran the 8-mile Kee Beach to Hanalei run with me, and that got me started. I’m doing Aqua Zumba to supplement my training, and Troy is the best. This helps with my upper body training.”

Aqua Zumba, designed for people looking to make a splash by adding a low-impact, high-energy aquatics exercise to their fitness routine, blends the Zumba philosophy with water resistance, states the Zumba website. It offers less impact on joints because water creates natural resistance, making each step more challenging and helping tone muscles.

“You don’t feel the workout until you get out in about an hour,” Lazaro said. “If you feel like you’re drowning, just stand up. If you feel your breathing getting away from you, just stand up.”

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