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Meet Samantha Bense of aquaBelly®

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Bense.

aquaBelly® was founded in 2010 for Moms, Moms-To-Be and Active Adult Women by Certified Instructor Samantha Bense as a natural outgrowth of her swim classes for newborns and young children.

“Creating aquaBelly® became a passion for me when I noticed that expectant and new mothers were unhappy with how they were feeling and were sensitive about the changes occurring in their bodies. I empathized, since at the time I was not feeling great about my own body, due to time constraints keeping me from my usual vigorous workout routine.

“So I began taking the concepts and skills that I learned throughout my extensive training in exercise science, nutrition, health, and biology and developed the foundation for aquaBelly®.”

Under Samantha’s leadership, aquaBelly® has grown into a national fitness and healthy living brand that includes aquatic fitness packages, coaching, nutrition, meal planning, and instructor trainings.

In addition to Miami and the South Florida region, the locations of aquaBelly® Water Fitness classes include California, Georgia, and Kentucky.

In 2012, aquaBelly® expanded its water fitness classes to include:
* aquaBooty™
* aquaBelly Baby™
* aquaTrain™
* aquaGrand™

Samantha’s life mirrors her passion for water fitness and improving women’s lives.

“I’m a health, nutrition, exercise, water-loving girl… YES, that’s me. Whether it’s chilling at the beach with my extended family, teaching swimming and fitness, paddle boarding, doing yoga, or shopping at the farmer’s market you will find me enjoying a healthy lifestyle.”

In between aquaBelly® instructor trainings, Samantha teaches aquatic group classes, private and semi-private classes in South Florida and conducts instructor trainings across the country.

Being around and in the water has been a lifelong love for the aquaBelly® founder. Samantha, a certified nutritionist, grew up by the ocean on Florida’s East coast. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with specialization in Marine Biology. She has an extensive knowledge of behavioral science in addition to her teaching background and certifications in Pre/Postnatal, Newborn and Senior Adult exercise and aquatics.

“Fit for Life Without the Sweat!”
The mission for aquaBelly® is to offer safe and effective fitness for women during all stages of their lives.

“I believe that from the thought of conception and throughout a woman’s life, the priority must be healthy living both physically and emotionally to ensure a long life!”

The core values that drive aquaBelly® are to:
*Promote healthy living from the very thought of conception in both mothers and children.
*Be the standard for quality, safety, and efficacy in pre and postnatal fitness.
*Create a passion for honoring the mind, body, and spirit in our participants.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
“For me, any business developer would agree that starting your business from the ground up is not an easy road or in my case wave,” says Samantha. “I am lucky enough to have two parents that were entrepreneurs who gave me the inspiration and understanding that it would never be easy, but 100% worth it.”

When I created aquaBelly® I was moving very far outside of my comfort zone. I was a teacher for many years and participated in countless fitness programs, but I had never started my own business nor had a business background. That is where I had to make the jump… literally. I had to combine my passion for helping women, teaching and exercising all the while creating an actual business! How would I do that?!

“I learned and knew the benefits of aquatic therapy and exercise, but in a time when the fitness industry was filled with “hardcore pays off”, I needed to show people that aquaBelly® is not your typical “old people’s workout”.”

“Once a woman comes to class it is easy, she loves it and feels so good during and after class. The challenge is letting women know that this is the right program for them.”

Changing the perception of water fitness programs for women as somehow ‘soft’ is one of the goals that drives her vision of aquaBelly®.

“Water fitness programs are just as vigorous and impactful as many of the workouts on gym equipment – building flexibility, firmness, and tone but without the greater risk of injury and falls,” she says. She also touts the relaxation and de-stressing factor of water that literally massages your body as you train.

Samantha envisions aquaBelly® as a family of multi-generational programs, offering appropriate health and well being for the arc of women’s lives, from childhood, conception, pregnancy, birth, motherhood and a vibrant adulthood.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about aquaBelly® – what should we know?
aquaBelly® is a national fitness and healthy living brand that focuses on Moms, Moms-To-Be, and Active Adult Women. The aquaBelly® fitness program is safe and effective or women during all stages of their adult lives. It’s the best workout without the sweat! Fitness, nutrition and healthy living are the core values that drive aquaBelly® and their many instructors. aquaBelly® is a totally unique workout, unlike any fitness class you may have ever tried!

aquaBelly® – Water Fitness for Moms & Moms-To-Be Classes are conducted in the water and are based upon the ACOG guidelines for safe exercise during pregnancy and beyond. Classes mix yoga, pilates, dance, weight training and aerobic exercise to give you a well-balanced, full body fitness class. Classes are a mix of different exercises to never get bored and music plays to keep up momentum. Instructors keep a close eye on the form of participants so they get a good workout. Exercise is proven to aid fertility as well, so classes are also great for those “trying”.

-aquaBooty™ – Water Fitness for Your Best Body Ever
-aquaBooty™ is the best alternative the typical gym experience. HIIT style classes focus on toning the core and booty to get your best body ever. Since classes are in the water you can kick your workout up a notch, feeling refreshed and invigorated!
-aquaBelly Baby™ – Water Fitness for Mom & Baby
A specialty class that involves using your little one as you strength train. aquaBelly Baby™ is the perfect way to exercise and bond with your baby.
-aquaGrand™ – Water Fitness for the Fun & Active Adult
-aquaGrand™ classes are easy-to-follow and perfect for the fit “baby boomer”! Classes are the perfect way to train for traveling, to repair injuries and feel overall great!

The positive feedback from our participants and community partners are some of my biggest accomplishments. There is nothing more profound than healthy babies being born and mothers staying healthy and fit throughout their pregnancies.

For example, soon-to-be moms say on a regular basis how they feel so uncomfortable with the changes that are occurring in their bodies. Often times they are insecure about the weight they gain during pregnancy and once they come to class they feel they can relate with other women. They build confidence knowing that they are taking the best steps to keep fit. I feel so proud as a coach and instructor when moms drop the “baby weigh” much faster than normal following delivery.

“One of the most memorable accomplishments I’ve had teaching was when an 86-year old aquaGrand™ participant who couldn’t walk was referred to my classes by her doctor. After taking classes 3 times per week within 6 months, she is now able to walk the entire length of the pool deck, get into the pool, exercise for the full 50 minutes and climb out of the pool all by herself. The joy she feels makes my heart explode with happiness!”

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
“In a time of fitness fads that change constantly, I feel that perseverance and believing in what I created is one of the most important keys to my success. Dedication to my participants and my instructors own success is also something I value”

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.aquabellyfitness.com
  • Phone: 561-866-8371
  • Email: samantha@aquabellyfitness.com
  • Instagram: Aquabelly
  • Facebook: Aquabelly Fitness
  • Twitter: aquaBellyfit
  • Yelp: aquaBelly


Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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