WATER WORKS: Water exercise class provides health benefits

Published 3:00 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

The water exercise class at the Troy Recreation Center attracts a large group of women each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The women come for different reasons from regular visits from arthritis to difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. Barb Homann led the exercises on Wednesday but said any one of the women could do the same. They all know the routines and the benefits of water exercise.

The Troy Recreation Center was alive with the sound of music Wednesday morning. “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do” followed by the soft splashing of water and some girl-like giggling signaled the beginning of the morning water exercise class, or as some of class members like to say, water “aerobics.”

“We do some jumping around but I think water exercise is the best way to describe the class,” said Barb Homann, who was leading the exercises in the absence of Chelsea Williams, who was on spring break from Troy University.

The water exercise class meets for an hour, beginning at 8:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Monday, the class numbered 17 but often spikes as high as 22.

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“We come for different reasons,” Homann said. “First, we have a good time together. But most of us have some physical reason for being in the class. Arthritis is a big reason. Some members have Lupus and some have had surgery. For others, it’s just the difficulty of getting out of bed in the morning. You don’t have to be a swimmer to be in the class. We just exercise in water.

“Being in water helps you move easier and we do movements that exercise your neck, arms, legs and back. All of the exercises are done in sets of three.”

The class is open to all ages but most of those who participate are senior adults.

“We warm up before we begin our exercises and we cool down when we’re done,” Homann said. “We exercise the right way.

“Everyone works at their own pace. If you can’t keep up, it doesn’t make any difference. You are exercising and that is what is important.”

And singing is important, too, in that it encourages more fluid movement.

“We like to sing,” Homann said.

Speaking on a personal note, Homann said she suffered a fall about 14 years back and she would not miss the water exercise class.

“After I come to exercise, I’m good for the day. I can move more easily and I just feel better all around,” Homann said.

The class has open enrollment and attendance is flexible.

Most members of the class are women, although one gentleman, a Snowbird, attends. And, the women work the classes around their schedules, which include beauty shop and doctor’s appointments and grandchildren.

“Sometimes a member will be out for awhile and then come back,” Homann said. “It’s better if you can come on a regular basis but it’s good, too, to come when you can.”

Doctors will sometime recommend water exercise for their patients and some people just come on their own because they realize the benefits.

The classes end with cool down time and a breathing exercise.

“We extend our arms and breathe in the positive and exhale the negative,” Homann said. “Then, we give ourselves a hug. And we leave feeling much better than when we came.”