Arthritis Patient Services is a local community organization that informs and educates the Charlotte area about resources and offers group fitness classes to many neighborhoods. While not offering water fitness classes, they help us to look at various programs for those in need to be fit. Water Walking is an excellent choice for exercise. Check out their article.
Thinking about how good that Water would feel on those joints?
Aquatic Fitness is best known as Water Aerobics. This is based on years-gone-bye of group classes in a pool with emphasis on steady-state cardio-respiratory fitness, as compared to a land group fitness class. Yet Aquatic (water) Fitness is so much more than an aerobic output of sweat. “Now aquatic fitness is mainstream.”, says Terri Mitchell, retired training Specialist for the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA).
Her article, Better Health Through Aquatic Fitness states “Participants of all ages and abilities love it because they can run, walk, jump and move in all directions without the joint impact; plus, there are positive mental components as well.” Water Exercise involves arthritis oriented classes, athletic training sessions, muscular strength and endurance type workouts, boot-camp routines, underwater treadmills and cycling, trampolines, boxing poles, paddle boards, Yoga, weighted equipment, deep water running, swimming, and more. The therapeutic role of aquatics is tremendous.
“Those who have had a recent surgery and/or physical therapy may be ready to join a group to continue with a water exercise program. Moving in chest-deep water is less stressful to the weight bearing joints, resulting in less pain and more range of motion. A deep-water class, using a floatation belt for support and safely, allows for zero impact on affected joints such as ankles, knees, and hips, as well as decompression for the spine. Exercising in any depth of water can produce cardiovascular benefits, based on the intensity performed.” The water offers an environment to improve balance, coordination, agility. Water Exercise classes also help improve sleep. The article continues, “Being able to move the body, increase circulation, and push against the water’s resistance creates a workout environment to improve stamina, muscle strength, body composition (when coupled with proper nutrition), and flexibility. All the components of fitness can be addressed!”
Is your appetite now “wet” for a class? Get ready! When pools open, follow the posted Pool Rules. Shower before entering the water. Wear a swim cap so hair products do not seep into the pool. Do not enter the pool if you are sick (diarrhea, flu, open wounds). Follow Covid19 Rules for the facility. Purchase your own small equipment like gloves, bands, loops, tubing, noodles, hand bars. Social Distance with your friends. Terri Mitchell concludes, “The social side is another plus! Working alongside lots of energetic people and making good friends offers a sense of belonging to this special fitness community. Celebrations, social events, and camaraderie are mental health benefits that are often an added bonus of group exercise classes.”
Aquatic Fitness may have its roots in the phrase Water Aerobics, but it is so much more. I have used it to Cross Train as a runner, help my arthritic hip, lose weight, increase range-of-motion for my fingers and knee, and increase aerobic capacity by swimming one-mile routines.
Are you ready to make a splash? Come On. Catch the wave! Let’s have some fun.
Cynthia Osborne, Aquatic Exercise Association Fitness Professional (AEA), Athletics and Fitness Association of America Primary Group Exercise(AFAA), Arthritis Foundation Aquatic and Exercise Program Leader (AFAP, AFEP), Red Cross Water Safety Swim Instructor, Personal Trainer (WITS), Wavemaker Ambassador Coach 2020, Geri-Fit Strength Training For Older Adults Instructor, and Owner CJOsmiles Aquatics LLC.
Want to contribute to Arthritis Services of Charlotte-Meck County? Visit ArthritisServices.org