There is a misconception that water fitness is only for senior citizens and pregnant women. The reality is that aqua exercise can be an intense cardiovascular and strength training workout suitable for everyone. Water resistance helps burn additional calories and buoyancy takes the pressure off the joint capsule. Your lungs are forced to work harder from the pressure of the water, so it increases lung capacity, too. The benefits are enormous – and so are the weight loss and recovery success stories. Dublin has many fun aqua fitness opportunities, so what are you waiting for?
Life Time Fitness
The perfect way to spend a beautiful summer evening is in the outdoor pool at Life Time Fitness, dancing and exercising to loud pop tunes and getting a great workout. I took the Monday 7 p.m. Hydro Training class and ran, kicked and jumped my way through a very tough but enjoyable hour. I recommend aqua shoes to protect your feet, a water bottle to hydrate and a modest swimsuit to avoid wardrobe malfunctions.
The teachers, Lisa Wolfe and Lynne Elkins, are inspirational and passionate about health, nutrition, exercise and especially water.
“There is so much power in what water can do for the body,” says Lisa. Twenty years ago, Lisa was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Her doctor told her to get in the water to increase her range of movement and take the pressure off her joints – and her results have been staggering. A highly successful fitness instructor and manager, Lisa is also a motivational speaker for the Arthritis Foundation.
Lynne’s path was more about weight loss; she lost 50 pounds cycling and weight training and another 40 pounds swimming and water training. She spent months studying to get certified to teach water fitness classes, and her life has been transformed since then.
“If we can do it, so can you,” Lynne says.
The class ends but the support and advice continues.
“Drive right past McDonald’s, don’t stop, your body is still working after exercise and it craves protein. No soda and no artificial sweeteners,” shouts Lisa, “and come try our Aqua Zumba class.”
As “Good Golly Miss Molly,” played over the speakers during the 9 a.m. Aqua Motions class at Metro V, the 18 mostly senior men and women sang along as they jogged and kicked their way across the pool. My 13-year-old daughter, Catie, was with me, and within 2 minutes, one of the men was hiding behind a pillar and squirting her with a water toy. It was Joe Ryan, 84, of Dublin who has been doing water fitness for 20 years at Metro V with his wife, Margaret. “Splashing around in a pool is fun and good exercise,” says Joe. “We are also a very social group and we have coffee after class and meet for lunch once a month to solve all the world’s problems.”
The 8:30 p.m. classes at Metro V are harder and geared more toward exercise enthusiasts and tri-athletes looking to cross-train without impact. They work on strength, speed and range of motion, sometimes with bungee cords tied around them to add resistance.
“I’ve heard many people say they never knew they could work this hard in the water,” Water Director Sharon Buda says.
Dublin Community Recreation Center
Whether you prefer indoors or outdoors, deep water or a shallow pool, the DCRC and the Dublin Community Outdoor Pools have many choices for aqua fitness.
"Most people who try water exercise classes love how refreshed they feel afterwards and don't know what they would do without it,” says Courtney Chaffin, DCRC Aquatics Director.
A water walking class is held in the lazy river of the leisure pool at the DCRC and uses the resistance of the current to build strength. Legs, Abs & Arms is a total body workout that can help define muscles without putting pressure on your joints. Deep and shallow water fitness classes work endurance, strength and flexibility while using flotation devices such as noodles and kickboards. The Arthritis Foundation Program helps decrease pain and stiffness while improving joint flexibility. Exercises for that program are gentler, performed in warm water, and instructors are certified through the Arthritis Foundation.
Classes are also held outside at the Dublin South Pool through Aug. 23 at 8 and 11 a.m. You do not need a DCRC membership to attend any of the classes, and you can buy a package or pay for each class separately. So grab your bathing suit and aqua shoes and jump on in to a refreshing and challenging workout.