Aquatone at El Taj: Working Out in Style

There’s nothing like a little glamour to encourage me to exercise, which is exactly why I attended my first Aquatone class at the luxurious El Taj Condo Hotel on Friday morning. Surrounded by tropical gardens and presided over by two standing Buddha statues, the gorgeous beach-front pool seemed like the perfect place to work out in style.

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I have to admit, before starting the class I thought it would be a breeze. I mean, how much of a workout can you really have in a gorgeous Balinese-style pool? For me, the word ‘workout’ conjures images of sweaty repetitions and bulky gym equipment, not floating around in a tropical paradise.

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I joined several other ladies and a couple of men in the crystal clear waters to begin the class which began at 10 AM. Our instructor Melissa started with some slow shoulder rolls to get us loosened up.

Then as the sound of the waves faded against the uplifting soundtrack, we started picking up the pace.

“Hey, this is pretty tough!” I thought to myself as I moved my arms and legs through the water, trying to keep up with Melissa’s coordinated moves.

I found it hard to keep my feet on the floor – I kept floating up as my arms moved through the water – and had to work on stabilizing my core to stop myself from floating away!

Melissa demonstrated every move from outside the pool, encouraging us to “be aggressive” and push ourselves harder. I felt my muscles burn as we lifted our knees, ran on the spot as fast as we could, and ‘frog jumped’ up and down the pool.

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It was quite a tough workout after all!

As I looked around at the faces of my class-mates through the splashes made by our moving limbs, they were all smiling and laughing, which encouraged me to loosen up and enjoy the watery workout. So I kept moving, and kept smiling.

I felt rather uncoordinated under the water as though I was moving through jello or walking on the moon, but I knew it was just the water providing my muscles with the resistance necessary to build strength and stamina.

And I could certainly do with some of that!

Melissa encouraged us to use the water to our advantage and move against it deliberately and powerfully. I felt my heart rate increase and was very grateful to be surrounded by the pool’s cooling embrace, unlike poor Melissa who was having a much warmer workout on the pool’s edge.

We began some slower stretching as the class started to wind down. Waves crashed onto the nearby shore and water trickled down from the ‘infinity Jacuzzi’ perched above a tiled feature wall at the end of the pool. It was definitely the most beautiful setting for a workout I had ever experienced, and I was actually a little sad when the class came to an end.

After a healthy breakfast of fresh fruit salad I secured my sunbed for the morning at Indigo Beach Club. A light breeze flowed in from the turquoise Caribbean Sea as birds glided across the clear-blue sky above me. Just in front, fishing boats bobbed around gently on their moorings, having recently returned with the morning’s catch.

I thought to myself, “Yes, Aquatone at El Taj is definitely the kind of workout I could get used to.”

*Aquatone classes are at 10 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are complimentary for all Condo Hotel guests, as are all the classes and facilities of The Gym fitness center nearby*

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