WATER EXERCISE: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?
By: Shelley Owens
Water Exercise Instructor and Participant
I have had a bad back ever since my 20’s and was told I couldn’t do anything high impact or even walk for very long! So, I ended up babying myself and staying away from all the fun outdoor (and indoor) activities. Then, one day during a doctor’s visit talking about my degenerating disks, arthritis, etc., the doctor said I should join a gym with a swimming pool. Well, alrighty, then!
I did exactly that. I started out taking the arthritis water classes, which were good, but I kept looking over at the regular aerobic water classes and they were having SO much fun! I decided to try that class and was told to do whatever I can and to use modified movements for the moves that proved too difficult, and to go at my own pace.
I continued with the aquatic classes, growing stronger and more confident. I found that I could do anything I want in the water which I wasn’t able to do on land. The density of the water allows you to move more freely with less stress on the joints and bone density can be greatly improved with aquatic exercise. The low impact provided by the water reduces jarring of tendons, bones, ligaments, etc. If you experience stiffness and joint aches, you can exercise in the water and be nearly pain-free!
Water aerobics affects the whole body, so improvements can be seen with balance, coordination, circulation, range of motion, etc. Another big plus is that you don’t have to worry about falls when you’re exercising in the water. If you do fall, you’ll have a VERY soft landing!
I only wish I had been given this advice when I was much younger. You are never too young or, especially, never too old to participate in water aerobics.
See you at the pool!