Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When Water Calls ...

I admit it. My greatest addiction in life is water. I love drinking water at just about every meal. I love a cleansing shower after an intense workout. I love the beach, just floating on the ocean waves, basking in the sunshine. And I love the pool.

About six months ago, a friend asked me to join her for Power Aqua. I'd heard about this class and thought it was just a bunch of older people who got together and did synchronized movements in the shallow end of the pool. I wasn't interested. But after Becky asked me to go several times, I figured I'd go to see what it was really about. My perceptions were wrong.

In that first class, I discovered that this wasn't my mother's Water Aerobics class. It was truly Power Aqua - a class devoted to increasing strength and endurance using the pool water for resistance. Having been a strong swimmer back in my younger years, I never thought I'd have any trouble with any endurance or strength while swimming. While challenging, I went back for more. Now, I can't get enough.

Bruce and Kara, friends of mine about my age, are there with me every Tuesday. Another couple, expecting their first child, are there every Saturday morning. Of course, other regulars are there, all ranging from age 25 through 60, men and women.

We usually start off running or jogging in the shallow end. The instructor, Sherry, knows how to customize the class to each person's needs. For example, I have the awesome privilege of having to swim the entire length of the pool. Others do not. We do everything from abdominal work to strengthening arms and legs, and end with a good stretching time. It's what I need several times a week, with a low-impact resistance to accommodate my injured shoulder.

If you're looking for a great way to build your strength and endurance, but need smoother resistance, get involved with a local Power Aqua class. To find a class near you, check out the local gyms in your area. YMCAs sponsor Power Aqua classes, but make sure that you find one with a strong instructor. You'll be glad you did.

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