Dec 4, 201202:19 PMCulture
Fun and Culture in the Mid-State
Zumba Gold: An Exciting Way to Exercise
A sense of fun permeates the room at Susquehanna View Apartments in Camp Hill during the Zumba Gold classes for seniors. The most striking aspect of the class is not its lively Latin music, or the enthusiastic instructors, or even the exercise routines themselves; it’s the fact that every face in the room is smiling.
Zumba Gold is a form of Zumba Latin Fitness specifically designed for seniors.
The program organizer for the Susquehanna View classes, Michael Stewart, sets up different types of exercise classes for the apartment residents twice a week. He first wanted to include Zumba Gold because it’s such an exciting way to exercise.
“It’s not boring anymore,” Stweart says, when comparing Zumba Gold with some other types of exercise. “People are just laughing, and everyone’s a part of it.”
The fun and excitement of the class is emphasized through the energy and enthusiasm of its three lively instructors. Susan Simmers, Denise Gallucci and Mary Stine have their own studio, Art in Motion Fitness (artinmotionfitness.com), where they teach not only Zumba Gold classes, but also other forms of Zumba, Pilates, yoga and more.
“People don’t realize that they’re exercising,” Simmers explains. “They’re just having a great time, and they forget. They’re moving, and they don’t even realize that, as they’re doing the movements, each movement is geared toward a certain muscle group. That’s the beauty of Zumba – you don’t even know it.”
Zumba Gold is also inclusive, open to seniors of any age with any level of athletic ability.
Class participants range from those who are keeping up with the instructors to those who participate from their chairs.
To accommodate class members who may not be able to stand up and move around, Gallucci demonstrates an adapted version of the routine from her chair while Simmers and Stine show it normally.
Zumba Gold routines are similar to those from traditional Zumba classes, but they’re designed to accommodate a more limited range of motion, and instructors cue the moves as they come, rather than simply demonstrating.
Even for those not interested in exercising at all, Zumba Gold routines seem to be worth watching just for the fun of it. Many seniors come to clap their hands, tap their feet and watch the fun from their chairs.
The lively atmosphere of a Zumba Gold class can be contagious, says Gallucci. “Some of those people will come up later and say, ‘I can do this.’ And that’s what happens. It encourages them.”
Whether participants attend the classes to meet their fitness goals or to simply watch, laugh and have fun, Zumba Gold is a great way for seniors to stay fit without making it a chore.