What started out in the Virgin Islands as a handful of AARP members interested in getting some sexy exercise has grown to over a couple dozen men and women who anxiously anticipate their Zumba Gold classes.
Zumba is a dance type exercise that provides great physical movement and at the same time is fun to do. So much so have the founders of this exercise program understood the need to cater to so many, that they have created a lower impact version of the exercise called Zumba Gold. This Zumba type exercise is for older adults, and persons with mobility issues. AARP VI wanted to provide a way for their members to take advantage of a program that allowed them to be able to exercise to help manage their conditions, to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to have fun at the same time.
“About a year ago,” states Denyce Singleton, AARP VI State Director, “The State Office was looking for something that was going to engage our volunteers and members AND be something fun good for the participants. One of our Chapter members was a Zumba instructor and suggested we give classes to AARP VI members. So, not knowing the response we would get, we pitched it to the Chapter members and crossed our fingers.”
The initial class was taught in a very small space. Our first 10 senior students came to see what it was all about, and after a couple of classes, more and more AARP members started attending and several things happened.
First, it was realized that not everyone could begin the class standing. But that is the beauty of Zumba Gold. You can do it seated, so several students began their new exercise routine seated in a chair. Not having participated in a structured exercise routine in many years, these participants needed to take it a little easier. However, it wasn’t long before these same students changed their seated routine to a standing one.
Next, the popularity of the class was incredible. In just a few short months the class grew so large that it was moved to a local sports club, but that too has become too small for the growing group and the classes are now looking for larger accommodations!
“We have participants come in everyday and thank us for sponsoring the Zumba classes,” continued Singleton. “Many indicate that they feel a real difference in their bodies and their energy levels as a result of taking the classes which are offered three times a week. These Zumba Gold classes have definitely filled a void for many seniors. The work out provides the participants with vital social interaction as well as great physical exercise.”
To take advantage of the Zumba Gold classes, AARP members can contact the State Office at 340-713-2002 for more information or check out our AARP VI webpage at www.aarp.org/states/vi and Facebook and Twitter accounts at www.facebook.com/aarpvi and www.twitter.com/aarpvi.