Aqua Zumba: Fun Fitness Classes at Arabella Country Club in New Cairo
Ring road Exit No. 11
Whilst the week is made for working, stressing and sitting in traffic jams, the weekends are usually reserved for getting out and about, enjoying the sun and chilling next to a refreshing pool. Being pre-occupied with food and air conditioning a lot of the time, what could be better than a bit of exercise, not only in the sun, but in a pool too?
Zumba is a fairly new fitness fad in Cairo, combining aerobics with dance, working to improve both fitness and resistance. Russian Zumba instructor, Anastasia Rayes, hosts 45-minute under water workouts on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings for 50LE per person at Arabella Country Club in New Cairo.
The club itself boasts a couple of eateries, a wellness spa, both indoor and outdoor kid’s areas and three swimming pools. When we arrived, we were directed out of the main building to the largest of the pools and its adjoining, spacious and clean changing rooms. Before supplying us with fluffy towels and locker keys, the woman tending the area also took our money for the morning’s activities. A day use at the Arabella country club costs 130LE while the 50LE is strictly for Zumba only; we were asked to evacuate the pool area straight after the class.
Our instructor could be seen from a mile away, bouncing around in her brightly coloured gym clothes in front of a very small group of swimmers – altogether we were a mixed-gender group of six. Admittedly, the water in the pool was very cold, however – as with any outdoor swimming pool – once we managed to lower ourselves in, staying active was the key to staying warm.
We immediately felt comfortable with the bubbly instructor, Anastasia; her energy and enthusiasm for Zumba helped motivate us from the get-go. Being newcomers to the art of Zumba, we were grateful for the slower movements and warm up stretches at the beginning of the class, helping us get used to – not only the routine – but moving in the water without floating about, which is actually more difficult than it sounds.
The whole class is taught to fast-paced, international dance music which, along with Anastasia’s gestures and shouts, helped keep time as the routine picked up pace. Because it’s a group activity, it’s every man for himself; meaning if you miss a motion, which is likely, you should just re-join when you can. We ended the routine with a cool-down, which was more of the same movements, just slightly slower.
As well as being a fun, energising morning activity, we begun to feel the effects quite quickly, although it wasn’t half as boring or strenuous as exercise out of water can be. The Aqua Zumba classes don’t need to be booked in advance, but do start at 10AM on the dot.