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Actively Aquatic

By Miriam Landru

Do you dread going to the gym after a long day of work, especially in the summer heat? Perhaps lounging by a pool with a refreshing cocktail in hand sounds like the perfect way to end a grueling Monday. Now, subtract that drink, add a water weight, and get ready to submerge!

You may think of water aerobics as an exercise only those with joint problems or arthritis partake in, but these days one could not be more wrong. The possibilities for working out in the water are endless. Aqua aerobic classes are featured at gyms all over Fayetteville. They range from your typical aqua aerobic class to the innovative aqua bike workout. The latter is exclusively offered at The Spa Fitness and Wellness Center, Eutaw location.
Those who have tried aqua bike instead of the typical spinning class got more of a workout than they bargained for! “They think it’s just a bike in the water. But once students get in there and realize the amount of resistance the water brings, it’s just amazing!” affirmed Kathy Henson, facilities manager and instructor. She continued, “They step out of the pool and say 'wow'! Aqua bike can help those therapeutically, as well as challenge those athletes who want to push themselves.”

The Spa has been offering aquatic workouts for nearly 30 years. Their selection goes beyond the typical aqua aerobic fare. Aqua Zumba, aqua Pilates and the new addition of aqua step classes in June are all on the menu and offered six days a week. Aqua step is perfect for those suffering from joint issues or arthritis. "Some of our members have enjoyed taking group classes for years, especially step. Now with aqua step, it's something for them to continue, not eliminate, " said Henson.

Down Skibo Road at the Cape Fear Valley HealthPlex, aqua classes are also favorites of gym-goers. Long time land and aqua aerobic instructor Melanie Carter explained, “Anybody, no matter their physical condition can be successful in the water. If you have a disability, you can work out in the water. Any type of hip or knee replacements, you can work out in the water.” Aqua workouts bring you the benefit of no wear and tear on joints. “It’s the best wellness bang for your buck!” Carter promised.

The HealthPlex features a large pool which hosts the aqua classes and free swim. They also boast a pool specifically for those who suffer from arthritis. “We serve the elderly in the arthritis pools, and we serve the folks who are just getting in the water and working out. But when someone comes and thinks it’s easy, you better believe I will make it hard!” laughed Carter.
You don’t have to spend the summer pounding the pavement to stay in shape for swimsuit season. Simply slip on that one-piece or your swim trunks and head to the nearest aqua class. Or grab a pair of water weights and head to a pool!