Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Aqua aerobics

For the month of November, I, along with Nevenka did Aqua Aerobics 3 times a week. There were some striking cultural differences. And I would like to make clear that these are just differences rather than a judgement on either culture.

What we would do is catch a cab to the sports center, go into the changing room, quickly change and go into the pool. The workout would last for about 1 hour, but Nevenka and I would do some laps and stretches before and after.

There were a few similarities. (1) the instructor can be brusqe “Quicker! Stop being lazy!” “Get those arms up!” (2) the people working out (in this case all women) complain about doing said exercises.

But the differences were more striking to me. The main one that I remember is the changing rooms were mixed gender-like men and women can go into the same room, change in the same dressing rooms, and shower in the same showers. I know this sometimes happens in the US (Ally McBeal comes to mind. Bonus points if you know the reference), but I’ve never experienced it like this at a gym.

The pool was very cold, every time too! They tried to say it was for better work-outs, but I hated it! Even when moving, you were still COLD!

Also, people were very concerned about the wet hair and getting sick. (this is also a difference that I have noticed- people are very concerned about my short sleeves, or no socks when wearing heels, out in winter. This is not specific to the gym, but rather to the country. People are really concerned about being cold. I mean I often am cold, but not because of my lack of socks with heels of ¾ length sleeves.)

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