By Jessie Wagoner
Aqua fitness is increasing in popularity throughout the country, but it is already making quite a splash at the McPherson Family YMCA. From lap swimming and water walking to a variety of water fitness classes, the McPherson Family YMCA has options for everyone.
Ameilea Alexander, Aquatics Director at McPherson Family YMCA, says there are many benefits to water exercise. Not only is it a great workout but members have found the classes to be a fun way to get regular exercise regardless of their fitness level.
“Water Exercise is increasing in popularity among the fit and not-so-fit due to its low-impact, yet high resistance nature,” Alexander said. “Water exercise is a great cardiovascular exercise as well as strengthener and works all parts of the body including the core.”
The YMCA currently offers a variety of water fitness classes to meet the needs of members. Each class is designed to meet different needs and every class is taught by a trained water fitness instructor.
One class is designed for those with arthritis. Water exercise is especially good for people with arthritis since it can help relieve strain on muscles and joints. Water walking is one of the most low-impact yet resistant form of exercise. Participants can walk at their own pace and enjoy their time in the water.
“Multi-level classes offer a variety of ways to get toned and in shape,” Alexander said. “Classes may be predominately strength and toning or predominately conditions, but may contain both.”
Multi-level classes taught at the YMCA include Aqua Exercise, which focuses on increasing strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity in the water. Toning is a strength-based class in the water. The final multi-level class is Aqua Dance, which combines rhythm and dance steps with a pool. It offers a fun but challenging water-based, body-toning workout.
Water fitness classes are held in the shallow end of the pool or in the family pool. This accommodates participants who cannot swim. Additionally, the YMCA has float belts if participants aren’t comfortable with their swimming skills.
All classes are included with a McPherson Family YMCA membership.
“You can pay a daily rate to use the YMCA,” Alexander said. “We also have scholarships if financially you cannot afford a membership.”
For more information or to view the water fitness schedule visit, https://ymca-mrc.org/aquatics.html.