Water exercises put less stress on the joints making it a perfect exercise for seniors. The water acts as a form of resistance, so strength exercises can be performed in the pool without heavy weights. Flexibility, balance, bone density and cardiovascular functions are increased while muscle-loss is decreased. Water workouts are a perfect alternative to exercising at the gym. Have you tried a water class yet?
This week, we did an Aqua Fitness Question and Answer session with Kari Richie, our Wellness Center Director.
Can you give us a short description of the classes offered at the Springmoor pools?
Aqua Basic – 45 minutes of fundamental water exercises to improve strength, range of motion, and balance.
Aqua Challenge – 45 minutes of challenging water exercises with a strong emphasis on cardiovascular endurance.
Aqua Free Time – The pool is supervised by a Health & Fitness Staff Member, allowing the residents to swim, walk or exercise at their own pace.
What level of difficulty is each class?
Aqua Challenge is in our “C” category, making it the highest level of difficulty. Modifications can be provided for different needs.
Aqua Basic is considered a “B” category… not as intense or fast paced.
Aqua Free Time is great for those who are motivated and like to exercise on their own.
Is one better than another for sore muscles or arthritis or other ailments? Do the physical therapy instructors also help?
Aqua Basic is the best option for those who have arthritis, chronic pain, or starting to exercise after a joint surgery or injury.
Physical Therapists do not teach classes but they can provide Aquatic Therapy for patients in the facility.
Water volleyball is a new monthly resident activity. Does the Wellness staff play too? Do you have an audience/cheering section?
The staff participates with the residents and we have a lot of fun!!! Cheering sections are welcome. We laugh and get a good workout while playing. (We don’t keep score.)
Lap swim – when, where and who?
Residents can lap swim during Aqua Free Time: Mon/Wed/Fri from 9:00 – 10:00 am or Mon/Wed from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.
Residents can use the pool on their own during non-programming hours. We strongly encourage the buddy rule.
Which resident swims the most laps (each day, each week)?
John Neal swims the most laps at one time. He swims a minimum of a mile three days a week (72 lengths plus another 6 to 8 laps just to be sure he counted correctly). Don & Jane Priess win the most consistent award. They come early in the morning and do their own routine.
Swimming in North Village – is this smaller pool just for aerobics? Anything else?
The Fitness Staff provides an Aqua Basic class in the NV Pool on Tues/Thurs at 9:15 am. A resident led group meets at 6:30 am on Tues/Thurs/Sat.
Some residents will use the pool on their own time to do their home exercise routine.
Time for play in the pool with grandchildren – how does this work?
Residents can enjoy spending time with their family while using the pool. We have several families who take advantage of this and they have so much fun! The rules are: residents must be present with their guests in the pool area at all times. We currently do not have “guest hours.” Residents may bring their guests any time there isn’t a scheduled program. Residents have first priority of the pool area.
Do residents do laps with kick boards or other equipment for lap swims?
Some residents swim laps with kick boards and others use the noodles or aqua dumbbells while water walking.
The hot tub and spa – tell us about this Wellness Center amenity.
The spa is popular after the Aqua classes as part of their cool down and relaxation time. It also becomes social time as they sit and relax with the jets on, talking and laughing with their friends. Some people only come to use the spa because of joint pain.
What is the most popular class? Why?
Aqua Challenge is the most popular class because it provides a good cardio and strength workout for all levels. Those who like the challenge can push themselves to their limit and those who like to take it easy can go at a slower pace and modify some of the movements.
What is the best class for beginners?
Aqua Basic is the best because it is slower paced and focuses on strength, range of motion, and balance.
What is the best class for life-long swimmers?
Aqua Challenge or Aqua Free Time
What hours is the pool open? Are there any special dos and don’ts?
The pool is open from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm. The programming hours are listed on the Fitness Calendar in the back of the monthly Springtimes. Hydration is important! Even though you feel like you’re not working as hard, you still need to drink plenty of water before and after your exercise in the water. It’s even more important to be hydrated if you spend time in the spa because of the warmer temperature. Always get out of the water if you experience dizziness, cramping, or chest pain.
Do any of the Springmoor Fitness Instructors have a swimming background?
Becky Boulo is our head Aquatic Instructor. Swimming has been a big part of her life. She taught swimming lessons all through college and even taught Swim 101 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Becky ran summer camps for the Aleut and Yupik Indians in Northern Alaska Villages through a program to help children learn to swim to reduce the rate of drowning. Becky also taught Aqua Fitness classes in the 1980’s when it first became popular. When she moved to North Carolina, Becky helped start the Summer Swim Team in her subdivision where her daughter started at the age of 5 and is now a collegiate swimmer at the University of Idaho. Becky has been teaching at Springmoor for over 5 years!
The rest of the fitness staff holds various certifications and helps teach some of the aquatic classes.
What equipment is used for exercise in the pool?
We have water dumbbells, kick boards, noodles, and something called Flower Power. They look like flowers and you move them through the water like a dumbbell. They are colorful and fun to use because they give you great resistance in the water.
Does Springmoor provide all the towels?
Yes! All you need to bring is your suit. We provide towels, soap, and showers. Remember… you don’t even have to get your hair wet when you use the pool.
Can you share a fun story about the pool?
We have a lot of fun in the pool. Some of these moments include dancing with the noodles, relay races and games. Having fun comes with the territory!
What benefits does swimming offer?
There are so many! You get all the typical benefits of exercise… but the added benefit of being in the water is that it’s easier on the joints. You can do so much more without the impact and can often move through a greater range of motion in water than you could on land. The other benefit is the hydrostatic pressure of the water. Being immersed in water while exercising benefits the heart!
Do you have any special events planned for the summer months ahead?
July is going to be Aqua Month! There will be special programs and incentives: a pool party, aquatic therapy seminar and extra fitness classes in the pools. Check the Springtimes for more details.