Seniors get a wet and wild workout | PostIndependent.com
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Seniors get a wet and wild workout

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson
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By this point, the seniors who converge on the Hot Springs Pool two days a week for the water aerobics class in the early morning mist are more than a common sight. They’re so regular you could set your watch by them.”They assembly outside my window and put me to shame that they’re working that hard,” said assistant general manager John Bosco.”They’re a pretty consistent group,” said instructor Cindy Frale, who’s been teaching water aerobics for 14 years.

So it’s a matter of clockwork that Frale arrives at the club, pulls out the multicolored styrofoam water noodles, wraps her little stereo in a plastic bag, and sets about warming the hearts and joints of a small, tightly-knit group of Glenwood seniors.They aerobicize for about 45 minutes, enjoying the warmth of the pool and the gentleness of the water. For many, the class is one of the best times of the week to get exercise.June Robins, who’s had both her knees replaced within the past year, said the water aerobics are great for her because the resistance creates less friction on her joints.

“I can do things I can’t do on land,” said Robins.It’s the same for Rolly Fischer, who thinks of the classes as therapy for his shoulder, on which he’s had massive surgery that he’s still recovering from. Though Fischer uses a lot of the exercise and weight machines in the Athletic Club’s weight room, he finds the water aerobics to be invaluable in rebuilding his muscles.”This for me has to do with the strengthening of my shoulder and back,” said Fischer.Frale added that many of the class participants, though they may not have undergone invasive surgery like Fischer and Robins, find that the class simply helps them loosen up aging muscles.



“Many wake up and feel really sore and don’t want to get out of bed, but they know that if they come to exercise they’ll feel better,” said Frale.The water resistance also provides more of a workout, Frale added.”In the water, it’s approximately seven times greater output of energy than on land,” said Frale. Which means that though the environment is easier on the joints, it’s also tougher on the respiratory system and muscles.

The classes aren’t just utilitary, though. They’re fun, too.As the class moved around in a circle during one routine, a man yelled good-naturedly to a woman, “Outta my way, Nellie!” and a round of laughter circled the class. “It’s kind of a social thing,” said Fischer. “There’s a great group of people who use these facilities.”The classes, which are held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, aren’t only for senior citizens, it’s just that the seniors are the ones who take advantage of the class, which is free for athletic club members.


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