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'Mermaiding', the fitness trend that's been described by the experts as a “total body workout”.

Image: supplied (Professional Mermaid, Kazzie Mahina, on the left).

If you loved The Little Mermaid and have always harboured some serious mermaid aspirations, you’ll love what Kazzie Mahina does for a living. She’s a professional mermaid.

While she lacks Ariel’s red locks and can’t breathe under the sea, Mahina’s been working as a professional mermaid at events since the mid noughties.

While it might sound a little, erm, out there, it’s a legitimate fitness trend that you’re going to see popping up more this summer.

“Mermaiding is gaining momentum so quickly as a new trend, we can hardly keep up,” says Mahina. In fact, she predicts it will one day be “almost as common to see a MerFin slung into the back of a van, as it is a boogie board or a regular pair of flippers”.

“MerFin”? It’s a piece of equipment designed so we can all swim like mermaids.

Made with recycled rubber, the MerFin goes on your feet. The ankle strap then secures your feet in place and you’re good to go. “Think flippers but with your feet attached – though your feet can easily slip in and out [of the MerFin] if needed,” Mahina says.

Once your fin is on, you swim – but with your legs together. As in, how you’d picture a mermaid swimming. “The motion is graceful, propelling the wearer swiftly through the water,” says Mahina, who refers to the movement as ‘water gliding’.

And apparently it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. “People are always surprised once they dive in for the first time. Within minutes they are gracefully gliding and coming up for air… They cannot believe how natural it feels,” says Mahina. (Post continues after gallery.)

Personal Trainer Kylie Anderson has never been mermaiding but thinks it would offer a “total body workout”. First off, she thinks the cardio workout is great for overall fitness. Then, she believes it would help tone your legs (“especially your quads and hamstrings”).

Having the MerFin on takes swimming to a whole other level for your abdomen. She says the MerFin would make swimming harder and put more pressure on your core to help keep you balanced.

While it sounds like a great workout, we don’t blame you if you feel awkward about popping on a mermaid fin when you next hit the beach. After all, you might turn a head or two.

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Twenty-four year old Tamara Tancred from Sydney doesn’t care about other people’s reactions to her MerFin.

“Being a woman at the beach can be daunting and a lot of women wouldn’t want to draw any extra attention to themselves,” says Tamara, who got a MerFin for Christmas last year and has been “obsessed” with it since.

Personal Trainer Kylie Anderson has never been mermaiding but thinks it would offer a “total body workout”. Image via Tumblr.

She says the joy of mermaiding far outweighs any odd looks she gets. “If you’ve always dreamed of being able to swim like a mermaid, you won’t be able to stop,” she says. (Besides, she reckons those who stare are “just jealous”).

Mahina credits our Aussie lifestyle for the popularity of the sport. Anderson believes it’s taken off because it makes exercising fun, meaning you’re more likely to stick with it. “There’s nothing better than exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise,” she says.

All we can say is Mahina’s solved Step One in our quest to become real-life mermaids.

Will you be giving 'mermaiding' a go this summer?

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