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A New Wave in Wellness … Water Exercising

Exercising in the water has become increasingly popular for all ages and abilities. The water allows exercisers to enjoy the health benefits without added pressure on their joints. Water exercises are low impact and great for cardiovascular endurance, strength training, calorie torching and rehabilitation. Exercise, both on land or in the water can also help delay the aging process significantly.

The water generates constant resistance on the muscles and because the water lessens the effect of gravity on the human body, one can move through their entire range of motion to greatly improve their flexibility. Water exercising/swimming takes pressure off of one’s hips, knees and back up to 90% and can significantly minimize pain. This lessened force of gravity also helps to promote greater blood from the extremities back to the heart. For anyone who has been diagnosed with arthritis or joint dysfunction, the water can help relax sore and inflamed muscles while building strength and support.

Water exercise is also becoming more popular with younger populations and athletes. We see more personal training done in pools by engaging in higher intensity movements with low impact to the body. New equipment such as bands, medicine balls, weights, paddles, parachutes and kettlebells are making their way into the pool area. These workouts involve interval training with weight training exercises and cardiovascular moves which may include water running/drills. Athletes are also taking to the pool for both active and recovery workouts. Workouts in the water can help personal trainers to reinforce movements done on land, work on proper breathing techniques and increase strength training efforts by placing consistent resistance on the muscles throughout the entire exercise.

The Washington Health System Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center offers a variety of aquatic exercise options. For members, there are seven different level group exercises classes offered from high to low intensity. For non-members, Aqua Flex is offered on Monday/Wednesdays from 12-1pm and Tuesday/Thursday from 9:30-10:30am for a drop in fee or with the purchase of a 10 visit – $50 punch card. This class is in the therapeutic warm water pool and works on flexibility, range of motion, strength and basic cardiovascular movements. The wellness center also offers programs and workshops for water running drills, aqua plyometric and jumping series, kettlebell technique classes and boot camps along with swim lessons for children and adults. Whether you are a beginner or advanced exerciser, the wellness center has a spot for you!

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For more information, please contact Aquatics Supervisor, Katie Stache, BS, BA ACSM-CPT, XPS, XFS, CPO, at (724) 250-5242 or cstache@whs.org.

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