Ever wonder what people are doing in the pool at Guilderland? AQUA classes. Low-impact, toning, stretching and conditioning group exercise classes. I know, “water workouts”, are not something that land on most members’ radar. After watching a few local area stand-out athletes (who are VENT members) perform some “water walking” before they tackled their cardio and strength workouts with a VENT Fitness Personal Trainer, I thought, “maybe this is something I should try.”
Why don’t more people try this?
That was my first thought minutes after my AQUA Flexibility FIT class in Guilderland. I stepped into the pool which was about 84 degrees. The water was refreshing. The ladies in class smiled, “Yeah, you don’t see too many guys in water classes,” I was thinking as I took my place in the pool. And honestly, I don’t understand why more Level II and III members AREN’T taking advantage of this amenity in Guilderland.
If you’ve taken MOBILITY, Yoga or BodyFlow – there are some similar stretches and movements in AQUA Flexibility FIT. You’ll recognize Warrior 1, 2 and 3. Tree pose will feel familiar. Simple arm swings and leg raises that you can perform effortlessly on land become a challenge with the resistance you generate in the water. I was taken back to the days of my youth, growing up in Arizona where summer days were spent pretty much all day in the pool. How many hours did I spend treading water, building up my shoulder (deltoids) and lower quads? Those muscles are not often targeted in my workouts today.
The scientific benefits of exercising in water are amazing. Here are a few fun facts to think about… Unless you are a NASA astronaut, you probably aren’t working out in a zero gravity environment. Water’s buoyancy supports almost 90% of your body weight = translation: reduced impact and greater flexibility. Imagine a workout that doesn’t stress your muscles or joints. The pressure of water also pushes equally on all of your body parts, lowering your heart rate when compared to exercise on land.
Most people expect a workout
For a forty-five minute class, I was tested and challenged in a few of the poses and stretches. More than once it was difficult to hold my balance, going face first into the water! Much to my surprise I did break a sweat, quite a few times actually. Instead of constantly wipe down the floor or equipment I would splash my face: instant relief!
At the end of class I asked Lauren, one of our AQUA instructors in Guilderland (she also specializes in Corrective Movement – I recommend taking her MOBILITY session too!), why more members aren’t in the pool? Her answer, “Members come to the club expecting to workout. When they don’t leave sweating, they don’t feel like they accomplished anything.” I get it, I used to think that way, until I took my first Yoga class and felt relaxed, two inches taller and completely loose from head to toe.
Give yourself a Spa Day
My recovery day is my “spa day”. Hey, I’m a Level III membership because I see the value in working out with a Personal Trainer everyday in VENT’s small-group NXT Training Sessions. I load up my week with STRIKE, BOOTCAMP and weight training. I also reserve one day for MOBILITY or my new favorite, AQUA Flexibility FIT. Nothing beats checking into VENT wearing my swimsuit and flip-flops for a workout and a good soak in the hot tub afterwards! I’ll save you a seat near the jets.